A volcanic eruption has occurred in Iceland, specifically south of the capital city Reykjavik. The Icelandic Meteorological Office reported a series of earthquakes following the eruption.
“The eruption has commenced on the Reykjanes Peninsula,” an announcement stated. “It can be observed on webcam and appears to be located near Hagafell, a town south of the capital.” The eruption began around 22:17 GMT after a series of small earthquakes around 21:00, according to the IMO.
“Coast Guard helicopters will take off shortly to confirm the exact location and size of the eruption.” Iceland has been on high alert for potential volcanic eruptions following intense seismic activity last month.
Thousands of small earthquakes were recorded on the southwestern peninsula as magma shifted beneath the Earth’s crust. Around 4,000 residents of Grindavik, a fishing port approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the capital, were evacuated on November 11.
Iceland boasts 33 active volcanic systems, the highest number in Europe. The Reykjanes Peninsula had not experienced an eruption for eight centuries until 2021. Since then, three eruptions have occurred—all in uninhabited, remote areas—and volcanologists suggest this could mark the beginning of a new phase of activity in the region.