Iceland volcano erupts for second time this year as huge lava flows spew from fissure

A volcano has erupted in south-west Iceland for the second time this year, the country’s meteorological office said.

Pictures showed rivers of lava surging from the Sylingarfell volcano after an intense burst of seismic activity at 5.30am local time on Thursday.

The Met Office said the eruption is in roughly the same location as an earlier one in December.

Icelandic national broadcaster RUV said the nearby Blue Lagoon thermal spa, one of Iceland’s biggest tourist attractions, was closed when the eruption began and guests were evacuated to hotels.

Announcing the eruption, Icelandic authorities said on Thursday: "An eruption has started on the Reykjaness Peninsula. Increased seismic activity was observed at 05:40 this morning, and it was a magma run, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Agency.

“Then at 6 this, another eruption began in the Sundhnúks crater series, north of Sýlingarfell. Earlier, the announcement by the Norwegian Meteorological Agency stated that a magma flow had begun and there was an increased chance of an eruption at Sundhnúks crater.”

The Sylingarfell mountain is located north of fishing town Grindavick, though it is not clear if the latest outbreak will affect the village.

Thousands of people fled Grindavik after the volcano erupted in January. Several homes were engulfed in flames after two fissured opened, one channelling the burning flows towards the town, 25 miles from capital Reykjavik.

Iceland, which sits above a volcanic hot spot in the North Atlantic, averages an eruption every four to five years.