An eruption of a volcano in Iceland has resulted in the flow of molten lava into a town, causing houses to catch fire

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Following the emergence of two volcanic fissures in close proximity, houses in the Icelandic town of Grindavík have been deliberately ignited.

An eruption occurred on the Reykjanes peninsula during the early hours of Sunday, resulting in the release of lava into the fishing village.

According to an expert, the eruption is being described as “the worst case scenario,” resulting in the evacuation of the whole town’s population.

The post-eruption fortifications have successfully mitigated the lava flow to some extent, however certain barriers have been overcome.

The primary thoroughfare leading into the town has been obstructed by the molten rock flow.

In a televised address on Sunday evening, Iceland’s President Gudni Johannesson called on the nation to unite and show empathy towards those unable to be in their residences.

According to the AFP news agency, he expressed his desire for the situation to become less tense, but acknowledged that unpredictable events could occur.

Prior to the December eruption in the Svartsengi volcanic system, there were powerful seismic vibrations caused by an earthquake. Subsequently, barriers were constructed around the volcano to divert the flow of molten rock away from Grindavík, a town inhabited by approximately 4,000 individuals.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) reported that the barricades were overcome in certain locations, resulting in the infiltration of lava into the town, subsequently igniting houses and buildings.

Individuals who had previously returned to Grindavík, located in the south-west region of Iceland, were compelled to evacuate their residences once more.

According to science journalist and volcanologist Robin Andrews, the current eruption has become an incredibly dangerous and harmful situation, especially since the lava has reached the settlement.

In his conversation with the BBC, he emphasized that the continuous flow of lava from the two existing fissures exhibits no indication of deceleration.

“Currently, it is not feasible to accurately assess the duration and extent of the damage,” he stated.

He cautioned that the consequences of the eruption could pose significant challenges for anyone with pre-existing respiratory conditions, as volcanic activity emits gases like sulphur dioxide, which can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir announced that the government will convene on Monday to deliberate on housing initiatives for the displaced inhabitants.

“Today is a somber day for Grindavík and today is a somber day for all of Iceland, but the sun will rise again,” she stated.

“Collectively, we will address this unexpected event and any subsequent challenges that may arise.” We offer our condolences and are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

The country’s alert level has been elevated to “emergency” – the utmost degree on the three-tier scale, indicating the potential presence of a danger to individuals, communities, property, or the environment.

The explosion on Sunday is the fifth occurrence near the Reykjanes peninsula since 2021.

Iceland is located just above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which serves as the dividing line between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, both of which are among the largest on Earth. There are 33 currently active volcanic systems.

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