A volcano in Iceland is erupting for the fourth time in 3 months

A volcano in Iceland has erupted for the fourth time in three months, bringing about evacuations but no reported flight disruptions or deaths.

Eruption details: On Saturday, the volcano spewed orange lava from a 2-mile long fissure in the Reykjanes Peninsula.
* The Iceland’s Meteorological Office had anticipated the eruption due to accumulating magma under the ground.
* RUV, the national broadcaster, reported the evacuation of hundreds from the Blue Lagoon thermal spa, a top tourist attraction.

Impact on the community: Grindavik, a town northeast of the eruption site, was evacuated in preparation.
* This coastal town, with a population of around 3,800, is located roughly 30 miles southwest of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik.
* The town was also previously evacuated in November due to volcanic activity and saw several buildings destroyed by lava during the second eruption in January.

Historical context: This is the latest in a string of eruptions beginning with an awakening of the Svartsengi volcanic system in November after approximately 800 years of dormancy.
* Three eruptions preceded Saturday’s incident, with one damaging a heat and hot water pipeline serving thousands of people.
* Geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson declared this the most powerful eruption yet, with lava flowing towards the defensive barriers around Grindavik.

Past disruptions: Iceland, located above a North Atlantic volcanic hotspot, is known for frequent eruptions.
* The most disruptive recent eruption occurred in 2010 when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted, causing extensive airspace closures over Europe due to ash clouds.
View original article on NPR
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