The Iceland Volcano began erupting late Monday, and the capital of Iceland may be exposed to gas pollution, according to the meteorological office of the country.
Following weeks of intense vibrations and earthquakes, the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland experienced an eruption.
Reykjavik might be exposed to fumes by Wednesday morning or Tuesday evening.
Approximately 4,000 individuals were forced to evacuate Grindavik, a fishing community in danger of a volcanic flow, last month.
A neighbor from Grindavik reported witnessing “horrifying” and “irrational” events on Monday night, and on Tuesday, she still had visions of the volcano erupting.
For weeks, Iceland has been preparing for volcanic activity. Seismic activity in the vicinity of Reykjavik has increased since the latter part of October.
It is possible to observe the eruption from Reykjavik, which is situated approximately 42 kilometers northeast of Grindavik.
Smoke could be seen billowing into the air, according to an eyewitness in the capital who reported to the BBC that the eruption had “lit up in red” half of the sky in the direction of the town.
A volcanic eruption in 2010 resulted in the ascent of an ash plume into the atmosphere, which extended for several days and caused significant disruptions to aviation travel in Europe.
According to BBC interviewee volcanologist Dr. Evgenia Ilyinskaya, the level of disruption would be significantly lower than in 2010 due to the inability of the volcanoes in southwest Iceland to produce ash plumes of the same physical magnitude.
Dr. Ilyinskaya, an associate professor of volcanology at Leeds University, stated from Iceland that locals had been “apprehensive and anticipating” the eruption of the volcano.
Authorities were preparing for potential lava flows that could destroy infrastructure and residences, including the Blue Lagoon, a popular tourist attraction, she added.
“At the moment, it seems not to be threatening, although it remains to be seen,” according to her.
On Tuesday, at 12:30 GMT, the Icelandic Met Office reported that while the eruption’s intensity was diminishing, emissions could still reach Reykjavik.
Twenty kilometers from Grindavik, in Sandgeroi, Aoalheiour Halldorsdottir stated that she had witnessed the eruption from her residence.
“Behold, the sight struck me as irrational.” “Volcanic eruptions have occurred in the past, but this was the first time I felt truly terrified,” she told BBC News.
“We’re used to volcanoes [erupting], but this was crazy.”
She reported that there was some “panic” on Monday evening and that she had purchased additional water supplies, but that by Tuesday, everything had returned to normal.
“I am currently at work, and I am able to see it. She stated, “I can see the stars in the night sky.”
Hans Vera, who was evacuated from Grindavik a month ago, had planned to return home for Christmas prior to Monday’s eruption.
However, he stated, “I don’t see that in the future they will let people get close to Grindavik, so we are back in the waiting game.”
Bjarni Benediktsson, the foreign minister of Iceland, stated on X, formerly Twitter, that “international flight corridors remain operational, and there are no disruptions to flights to and from Iceland.”
“The jets [of lava] are quite high, so it appears to be a powerful eruption at the beginning,” he commented.
Lava erupted from the volcano in social media images and videos within an hour of the detection of an earthquake swarm, which is defined as a succession of seismic occurrences.
The police have advised individuals to avoid the area.
The Met Office reported that the magma flowed at a rate of 100 to 200 cubic meters per second through a 3.5-kilometer-long fissure in the volcano, which was significantly faster than recent eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula.
Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir of Iceland stated that the recently constructed defenses would be beneficial.
She expressed her condolences to the local community and her optimism for the best in spite of the “significant event.”
President Gudni Johannesson stated that while protecting lives was of the utmost importance, every effort would also be made to safeguard structures.