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Lava reaches defense walls outside Grindavik after Iceland volcano roars back to life in powerful eruption

todayMay 29, 2024 4

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GRINDAVIK, Iceland – Thousands of residents of the evacuated seaside town of Grindavík in Iceland are holding their breath after a volcano outside the town roared back to life Wednesday in the most powerful eruption since December.The latest eruption, the fifth since the end of 2023, began Wednesday afternoon after the region in southwest Iceland experienced hundreds of earthquakes over the past several days.WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE A VOLCANO ERUPTS?According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), lava was blasted more than 160 feet into the air from a massive fissure that opened when the eruption began, which has since grown to more than 2.1 miles long.The IMO said lava was flowing between about 52,000 and 70,600 cubic feet per second and reached the defense walls to the west of Grindavík.CAN ONE VOLCANO’S ERUPTION TRIGGER AN ERUPTION AT ANOTHER VOLCANO?Grindavík Mayor Fannari Jonassyni told national public broadcaster RÚV that he’s concerned that the defense walls could fail and a state of emergency has been issued.”It has to be expected that if this continues like this, then something can start to give way,” he told RÚV.ICELAND RESIDENT DESCRIBED RELENTLESS EARTHQUAKES, MOMENTS OF PANICKED EVACUATIONRÚV reported that electricity in Grindavík has been cut due to the high-voltage line being in danger of being destroyed.That was a precautionary measure, RÚV reported, because if the line had been damaged by lava while still live, it could have caused major damage to the power plant in Svartsengi.It’s unknown when power will be restored to the town.WHAT ARE THE 4 CLASSIC TYPES OF VOLCANOES?There were also reports of explosions and black smoke billowing into the air after magma underground came into contact with groundwater, causing an explosive reaction.RÚV said those explosions could have an impact on air travel due to ash falling across the region. So far, however, there have been no disruptions to air travel.According to a Facebook post from Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, lava has flowed over roads near town and blocked most routes.”According to information from the Icelandic Road Administration, the Northern Lights Road is also covered by lava and there are only about 50 meters (164 feet) before the lava crosses Grindavíkurvegur north of Svartsengi,” the department said in the Facebook post. “There is a high probability that Nesvegur will close soon due to lava flow.”In addition, the department said all roads to and from Grindavík are closed to public vehicles.Lava has also been flowing rapidly toward communications towers owned by the U.S. Navy outside of Grindavik. RÚV said officials are hopeful that the defense walls will hold and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is monitoring the situation.Iceland’s popular tourist destination Blue Lagoon was also evacuated due to growing fears of a new eruption amid intense seismic activity.Blue Lagoon said on its website that it made the decision to remain closed until May 31, at which time the situation will be reassessed.Some information in this story was translated via Google Translate.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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