Molten rocks set homes on FIRE as lava melts town in Iceland after volcanic eruption

Molten rocks set homes on FIRE as lava melts town in Iceland after volcanic eruption

A volcanic eruption in Iceland has led to lava spilling out onto a fishing town

GB News
Dimitris Kouimtsidis

By Dimitris Kouimtsidis

Published: 16/01/2024

- 17:52

The community of 3,800 people in Grindavik were evacuated ahead of the eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula

Molten rocks have set homes on fire as lava has melted parts of a town in Iceland following a volcanic eruption.

The catastrophe began at 8am on Sunday morning, on the back of over 200 earthquakes that shook the island-nation.

Rock barriers that had hastily been erected to protect the town of Grindavik on the Reykjanes peninsula, in the southwest of the country, originally managed to hold.

But a new fissure tore open the earth and scorching lava spewed out onto the town, destroying multiple buildings, including people's homes.

Lava destroying homes in Grindavik, Iceland

Scorching lava spewed out onto the town of Grindavik, destroying multiple buildings


The town's 3,800 residents were evacuated ahead of the eruption, following a swarm of 200 earthquakes.

This is the second time in recent months that locals have had to be evacuated due to a volcanic eruption, with the first being in November.

They were forced to stay away from the town for six weeks and were only allowed to return on December 22.

In this latest incident, Icelandic Civil Defence Chief Víoir Reynisson described the situation as the "worst-case scenario".


Lava destroying homes in Grindavik, Iceland

Lava destroyed at least three homes in Grindavik


The country's Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdottir called it a "highly serious" situation.

She said: "Because we were announcing yesterday that we were mostly worried about fissures and ruptures underneath the town, but now we have a volcanic eruption just really within the town. This is highly serious."

Despite the catastrophe, "no lives are in danger", the country's President Gudni Johannesson assured.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office said in a statement: "According to the first images from the Coast Guard's surveillance flight, a crack has opened on both sides of the defences that have begun to be built north of Grindavik."

Lovísa Mjöll Guðmundsdóttir, from the weather service, said: "It cannot be ruled out that more cracks will open.

"The GPS data showed us that there is increased magma inflow into the tunnel and with that there is a possibility of more fissures opening up."

Police chief Víðir Reynisson warned: "We need to be prepared and focus our actions on the real danger, a large crack opening in Grindavik, major gas pollution from this and then the possible opening of new eruptions."

Jon Gauti Dagbjartsson, a resident who was forced to evacuate, said: "This is serious, it's basically as bad as it can possibly get. Although it might get even worse, who knows.

"I actually live in the house that I was born in and it's a tough thought to think that this town might be over, and I would have to start all over somewhere else. But if that's the case, then that's exactly what we'll do."

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