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Deja vu as a new Icelandic volcano erupts near the capital – International News News – Report by AFR

A volcano erupted in Iceland near the capital Reykjavik on Wednesday, the Icelandic Meteorological Institute (IMO) said, as live images in local media showed lava spewing from a crack in the ground.

The eruption occurred about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Reykjavik, near Mount Fagradalsfjall volcano, which erupted for six months from March to September 2021, captivating tourists and onlookers who flocked to the scene.

This time, a line of bright red lava could be seen spurting out of the ground and spreading into a blanket of smoldering black rock as it cooled and blue smoke billowed from the hilly landscape of the Reykjanes Peninsula.

“The eruption started near Fagradalsfjall. The exact location has yet to be confirmed,” the IMO, which monitors seismic activity, wrote on Twitter.

It estimated the size of the crack to be about 300 meters (yards).

It was later said the eruption started in the Meradalir Valley, less than a kilometer from the site of last year’s eruption.

Wednesday’s eruption came after a period of intense seismic activity that has seen about 10,000 earthquakes since Saturday, including two measuring at least magnitude 5.0.

Although there was no ash plume, the IMO said it was “possible that pollution may be detected due to the gas release”.

Gases from a volcanic eruption – especially sulfur dioxide – can be whirled up in the immediate vicinity and can be hazardous to health or fatal.

Gas pollution can also be carried by the wind.

“The risk to populated areas and critical infrastructure is considered very low and there have been no flight disruptions,” Iceland’s foreign ministry said on Twitter.

More than an hour after the eruption began, a commercial passenger plane was seen flying at low altitude over the eruption site, heading for Reykjavik’s main airport, Keflavik.

– awakening –

Fagradalsfjall Mountain is part of the Krysuvik volcanic system on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland.

Iceland has 32 volcanic systems that are currently considered active, the highest number in Europe. The country has had an outbreak every five years on average.

However, until last year’s eruption of Mount Fagradalsfjall, the Reykjanes Peninsula had not seen an eruption since the 13th century when a volcano erupted for 30 years from 1210 to 1240.

After the eruption last year, geophysicists said it could signal the start of a new eruptive period lasting centuries.

Iceland, a huge island near the Arctic Circle, spans the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a rift in the sea floor that separates the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

The shifting of these plates is partly responsible for Iceland’s intense volcanic activity.

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