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A volcano erupts in Iceland, causing lava to approach Grindavik

A volcano erupts in Iceland, causing lava to approach Grindavik

Grindavik, Iceland – Evacuations are underway and a state of emergency has been declared after a volcano erupted near the coastal town of Grindavik in Iceland on Wednesday morning, sending lava more than 160 feet into the air and opening a fissure more than 1.5 miles long.

according to National Public Radio RÚVThe eruption began just before 1 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) after hundreds of earthquakes shook the area over the past few days.

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This image shows lava coming from a fissure that opened during a volcanic eruption near Grindavik, Iceland, on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.
(Bern Odsson/Icelandic Civil Defence)

This image shows lava coming from a fissure that opened during a volcanic eruption near Grindavik, Iceland, on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.
(Bern Odsson/Icelandic Civil Defence)

This image shows lava coming from a fissure that opened during a volcanic eruption near Grindavik, Iceland, on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.
(Bern Odsson/Icelandic Civil Defence)

In a statement on Facebook, Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said a magma tunnel was advancing near Grindavik.

Grindavík was evacuated before the eruption, but first responders remained in the city, RÚV said.

“Magma is approaching the town of Grindavik, and responders and others in Grindavik are being asked to be prepared to evacuate the town on very short notice.” Read the ad on Facebook.

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The popular travel destination Blue Lagoon was also evacuated due to the volcanic eruption.

“Due to the eruption that began in Sundhnúksgígar on May 29, we have taken the precautionary measure of evacuating and temporarily closing all our operational units today.” Blue Lagoon said in a statement.

Officials are asking people to stay away from lava fountains, and flights in the area have not yet been affected by the eruption.

Scientists say they believe lava could reach Grindavík soon based on the speeds at which the lava flows.

The volcano has erupted several times since the end of 2023, leading to the evacuation of the town as well as the Blue Lagoon several times.