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Iceland: volcanic eruption expands with new lava fault

The images do not fail to impress. The volcanic eruption that takes more than two weeks about 40 kilometers from Reykjavik in Iceland spread, this Monday, April 5, with a new fault that spews a narrow lava stream of several hundred meters, descending into a neighboring valley.

The new rift about 150 to 200 meters long, is located about 700 meters northeast of the first focus of the eruption located in the Geldingadalir valley, on the edge of Mount Fagradalsfjall, according to the last point of the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO).

From now on, Molten lava flows into another small valley nearby. named Merardalir, the organization said in a statement. New Icelandic Civil Protection images are shown a long narrow stream of orange magma descend through the hills from the new eruptive fault, already for several hundred meters.

“At first (the lava) rushed to almost 10 meters per second“especially because of the steep slope,” but now it has slowed down considerably, “volcanologist Thorvaldur Thórdarson told AFP.

A rash that is longer than expected

This new phase of the eruption shows that the underground magma “was in overpressure because it had the ability to open new cracks,” he stressed. “It is not a surprise, but it is an interesting development.“According to the expert. Access to the site, where many visitors have gathered since the eruption began on Friday, March 19, has been closed and evacuated, according to authorities.

Ready almost 800 years that lava had not flowed in the area from the Reykjanes peninsula, southwest of the capital. It then spread over three decades with several eruptive episodes from 1210 to 1240. Icelandic volcanologists, who initially predicted a short-lived eruption, now rely on several weeks or even many more.

“My feeling is that I don’t see any sign of this stopping,” Thorvaldur Thórdarson commented. “Let’s watch this for a while”, Said the volcanologist, without daring to give a more precise duration.

Many viral videos on social media.

The site has become the attraction of the moment in Iceland. At the last check-in on Sunday, 36,293 people had arrived at the foot of the two small craters calmly spilling lava. which now covers 30 hectares, since the installation of a meter by the Icelandic Tourist Office on Wednesday 24 March.

Viral videos of the eruption have been around the world in recent weeks, including one showing a bunch of icelanders playing volleyball in front of the volcano like nothing.

The site of the eruption is only a few kilometers away. from the tourist site of the warm and turquoise waters of the “Blue Lagoon”, and about ten kilometers from the nearest town, the small fishing port of Grindavik, but without giving rise to fear of damage. The lava eruption is much more bucolic that the so-called “explosive” of the Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, which had paralyzed air traffic in Europe for weeks.

In Iceland, the most active European volcanic area, a volcanic eruption occurs on average every four to five years. The last dates from 2014-2015 in an uninhabited area in the center of the North Atlantic island.

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