A volcano forecast to erupt at any moment by authorities in Iceland did just that, exploding to life moments ago. Lava flows from the eruption are threatening the town of Grindavík which was completely evacuated yesterday ahead of today’s eruption.
The Icelandic Met Office, responsible for both weather forecasts and volcano/earthquake information, had previously said there’s a massive channel of magma just below the surface that can break through it at any time. Their computer models show a 9 mile long magma intrusion, located just northwest of Grindavik.
At around 03:00 UTC today, an intense series of earthquakes began at the Sundhnúksgígar crater row, with more than 200 earthquakes measured in the area. Within the swarm, the largest recorded earthquake is 3.5 in magnitude, and it was measured at 04:07 UTC at Hagafell.
“Both real-time GPS measurements and borehole pressure readings (from HS Orka) show major changes since the onset of today’s earthquake activity. These observations, in addition to the ongoing seismicity, confirm that magma is moving within the region,” warned the Icelanic Met Office before the eruption.
At roughly 7:57 am local time, the magma reached the surface, bursting into a brilliant explosion of lava just north of the downtown area of Grindavik. Authorities report lava is heading towards the town, although the volume and speed hasn’t yet been confirmed.
Fresh Eruption in Iceland! https://t.co/udAPYSQ5MD
— the Weatherboy (@theWeatherboy) January 14, 2024