New Delhi, Jan 15: A volcanic eruption near the southwestern Icelandic town of Grindavik has resulted in the spilling of lava into the town, burning multiple houses.
Two volcanic fissures opened in proximity to Grindavik, setting structures ablaze despite defences erected after a November- December eruption.
President Gudni Johannesson of Iceland has reassured the public that the eruption does not pose a threat to life. On X, formerly known as Twitter, President Johannesson conveyed, "No lives are in danger," while acknowledging potential threats to infrastructure.
Despite partial containment efforts following the December eruption, some defences have been breached. President Johannesson urged unity and compassion for those affected by the disaster, emphasizing the need for solidarity during these challenging times.
BBC interviewed Volcanologist Dr Evgenia Ilyinskaya from the University of Leeds, who expressed disbelief at the distressing images emerging from Iceland. Dr Ilyinskaya highlighted the rarity of eruptions in this part of Iceland, with the last occurrence being 800 years ago, and the last time a town faced lava threat dating back 50 years to 1973.
When questioned about the potential duration of the eruptions, Dr Ilyinskaya cautioned that the region might be entering a phase known as 'New Reykjanes Fires,' marked by frequent eruptions occurring every few months, annually, or over several decades to centuries. The prospect of such a prolonged volcanic activity is challenging for people to comprehend, she added.
Grindavik, previously evacuated in November due to a different eruption, now faces renewed upheaval, underscoring the volatile nature of Iceland's more than 30 active volcano systems.