From Iceland — UPDATED: New Eruption On The Reykjanes Peninsula

UPDATED: New Eruption On The Reykjanes Peninsula

Published February 8, 2024

Photo by
Art Bicnick

A new eruption started on the Reykjanes peninsula around 6:00 on February 8. This eruption is the sixth volcanic eruption in three years on the peninsula and the third eruption since December.

The fissure stretches from Sundhnúkur in the south to the eastern tip of Stóra-Skógafell. While the fissure spans a considerable length of approximately three kilometres, there has been a noticeable reduction in intensity on its southern end. The eruption’s glow and smoke was clearly visible across the entire capital area this morning.

UPDATE, 13:38, February 8

The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, in consultation with the Police Commissioner of Suðurnes, has decided to declare the emergency phase due to disruptions in the supply of hot water in the Suðurnes region.

“The hot water pipelines are disrupted, causing a shortage of hot water in Suðurnes. It is now crucial for residents and businesses in Suðurnes to conserve both electricity and hot water,” states the Civil Protection announcement.

The public in Reykjanes is once requested to use hot water and electricity sparingly.

No hot water at the airport

“Heat supply is currently unavailable at Keflavík Airport,” says Guðjón Helgason, spokesperson for Isavia. Despite the situation, he mentions that it has limited impact on the airport’s operations, and they are closely monitoring the development of the situation.

“We are well-prepared in case necessary measures need to be taken, including addressing potential cooling in the terminal,” he adds.

He mentions that airlines and service providers at the airport are well-informed about the situation, allowing them to take necessary actions in their services and operational areas if needed.

Experts predict that the eruption would not be long-lasting. The December eruption lasted for 60 hours and, considering the accumulated magma, it is estimated that this eruption could last for roughly 80 hours. The eruption seemed to have reached a balance around 8:30 this morning.

Watch RÚV’s live stream from Svartsengi below:

After the beginning of the eruption, the Blue Lagoon started the evacuation of its guests and staff. The evacuation is reported to had completed smoothly with guests showing understanding to the situation.

Around 11:00, lava crossed the Grindavíkurvegur road, right at the exit for the Blue Lagoon.

Civil Defense has now declared a danger level in Suðurnes due to the risk of lava damaging hot water pipes.

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