Lava escapes from a volcano in Iceland

A volcano has erupted on a mountain near the Icelandic capital Reykjavik after days of increased seismic activity in the area, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) announced on Wednesday August 4, 2022. Contingency plans have been activated after the volcano erupted, with incandescent lava flows bubbling up in a widely anticipated event following a wave of seismic activity.

Footage and live streams by local media showed lava and smoke spewing from a crack in the ground on the side of Fagradalsfjall mountain, which last year experienced a six-month eruption.

The eruption began near Fagradalsfjall mountain on the Reykjanes peninsula southwest of Reykjavik. White smoke initially rose from the earth before incandescent magma emerged with lava gushing from a vast fissure in the Geldingadalur valley.

The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said in a statement that tourists and residents should avoid the area due to toxic gases, although there is no immediate risk of damage to critical infrastructure.

The IMO also informed that a “code red” had been declared to prohibit planes from flying over the site, although helicopters had been sent to monitor the situation.

Officials say unlike the 2010 eruption of the ice-capped Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which halted some 100,000 flights and forced hundreds of Icelanders from their homes, this eruption is not expected to spew much ash or smoke into the the atmosphere.

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