Photos show crowds gathering in Iceland to witness long-dormant volcano eruption

reykjavik Iceland volcano eruption
Weekend hikers took the opportunity Sunday to inspect the area where a volcano erupted in Iceland on March 19

  • A long-dormant volcano near Reykjavik in Iceland erupted slow-moving lava starting last week.
  • Crowds of visitors made the trek beginning last weekend to witness the molten lava.
  • This is the first time in 800 years the area has seen a volcanic eruption.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A long-dormant volcano that erupted about 25 miles from Reykjavik has continued to draw large crowds this week.

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People watch and take photos as lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

The volcano is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, near Iceland’s capital city.

The area hasn’t seen a volcanic eruption in nearly 800 years, according to the Associated Press.

 

Lava first began to flow from the volcano Friday night, after tens of thousands of earthquakes were recorded in the area in recent weeks.

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Lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Saturday, March 20, 2021.

An increase in seismic activity is often a precursor to an impending eruption, Insider’s Joshua Zitser reported earlier this week. 

The Icelandic Meteorological Office said Saturday “lava fountains are small and lava flows are currently a very local hazard.”

 

The eruption is known as an effusive eruption, which is when magma rises through the surface and lava slowly flows out of the volcano’s fissures.

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Iceland’s latest volcano eruption is quickly attracting crowds of people hoping to get close to the gentle lava flows.

Effusive eruptions are different from explosive eruptions, which see magma torn apart as it rises to the surface, often sending up clouds of ash and disrupting air travel. 

This weekend’s eruption has not affected air travel or led to any reported injuries.

The eruption is not seen as a threat to towns nearby, according to the AP, and the steady flow of lava means people can get fairly close to the volcano without much risk — a move more and more visitors have been taking in recent days.

 

 

Police told residents living nearby to close their windows and stay indoors on Saturday, according to Al Jazeera. But that didn’t stop dozens of weekend hikers from taking in the sight.

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Sunday hikers look at the lava flowing from the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano some 40 km west of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, on March 21, 2021.

According to the AP, Iceland’s civil protection officials were seen motioning some visitors away from the lava on Tuesday to make sure nobody got hurt. 

One of the officials told the outlet a person had tried to cook eggs and bacon on the lava but lava melted the pan.

 

Hikers’ parked cars stretched along the roadside.

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A long line of parked cars left along the roadside by hikers flocking to the area to get a look at the lava flowing from the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano some 40 km west of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, on March 23, 2021

The eruption sent a red shimmer into the Icelandic sky Saturday night.

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A view of volcano eruption in Geldingadalur on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland on March 21, 2021.

According to the AP, the glow of the lava could be seen nearly 20 miles away from the outskirts of Reykjavik. 

The striking red glimmer could be seen rising behind the President of Iceland’s official residence in Reykjavik.

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The red shimmer from lava flowing from the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano rise behind the Bessastadir, the official residence of the President of Iceland seen from the Icelandic capital Reykjavik,

Those who got an up-close view of the flowing lava were amazed.

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Sunday hikers look at the lava flowing from the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano some 40 km west of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, on March 21, 2021.

“I’ve been waiting for many years to see an eruption in Iceland,” Italian photographer Vincenzo Mazza told the AP. “I saw some eruptions in Italy, like Etna and Stromboli, but this is absolutely different.”

 

The end of the weekend didn’t deter visitors from streaming in to witness the natural beauty Monday and Tuesday.

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Weekend hikers took the opportunity Sunday to inspect the area where a volcano erupted in Iceland on March 19.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The biggest volcano eruptions in recorded history

  • The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) ranks volcano eruptions by size and power.
  • The scale goes from VEI-0 to VEI-8 and measures ash, lava, and rock ejected.
  • VEI-1 is a gentle eruption that can happen frequently. Italy’s Mt. Stromboli has been erupting almost continuously for 2,000 years.
  • VEI-6s are colossal eruptions every 100 years. The 1883 explosion of Krakatoa was the most famous of these.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

Following is a transcript of the video.

Earth has had a dramatic history, filled with its share of angry outbursts. Here’s how the largest volcanic eruptions measure up.

The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) ranks eruptions by size and power. The scale goes from VEI-0 to VEI-8. It measures ash, lava, and rock ejected.

VEI-0 are usually a steady trickle of lava instead of an explosion. An example is the Hawaiian volcano of Kīlauea.

Next is VEI-1, a gentle eruption that can happen frequently. Italy’s Mt. Stromboli has been erupting almost continuously for 2,000 years.

VEI-2s consist of several mild explosions a month. Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung has been erupting since 2013.

VEI-3 are catastrophic eruptions that happen every few months. Lassen Peak in Northern California had a VEI-3 in 1915.

VEI-4s happen about every other year. In 2010, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull grounded thousands of flights.

At VEI-5 things start getting more dramatic. Both Mt. Vesuvius (79 AD) and Mt. St. Helens (1980) were VEI-5s.

VEI-6s are colossal eruptions every 100 years. The 1883 explosion of Krakatoa was the most famous of these.

VEI-7 eruptions occur every 1,000 years. The most recent was Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora in 1815.

VEI-8 is a devastating explosive eruption every 50,000 years. The Yellowstone Caldera would reach this level if it were to erupt.

Let’s all just keep our cool.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published on November 1, 2017.

Read the original article on Business Insider