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Volcano Erupts in Grindavik, Triggering State of Emergency

Grindavik, May 30, 2024, The Europe Today: A volcano in Grindavik erupted again on Wednesday, spewing lava and clouds of ash into the air. According to Iceland’s Met Office, the eruption is shooting lava about 50 meters (165 feet) high from a fissure approximately 1 kilometer (1,100 yards) long. This marks the fifth volcanic eruption in the region since December and comes nearly three weeks after the end of the previous eruption.

Authorities have declared a state of emergency in response to the eruption. The nearby Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a popular tourist destination, was evacuated, with around 700 to 800 visitors present at the time. Additionally, residents who had recently returned to Grindavik after an evacuation in late 2023 were once again ordered to leave.

Despite the volcanic activity, Iceland’s main international airport in Keflavik, near the capital Reykjavik, remains open and operational, according to airport operator Isavia.

The recent eruptions indicate a reawakening of the Svartsengi volcanic system, which had been dormant for almost 800 years. It remains unclear when this volcanic activity will subside or what implications it might have for the Reykjanes Peninsula, one of Iceland’s few densely populated regions.

The situation continues to be monitored closely as authorities work to ensure the safety of residents and visitors in the affected areas.