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Iceland volcano – live: Footage shows lava flowing towards Grindavik in ‘most powerful’ eruption so far

Iceland has experienced its most powerful volcano eruption since December last year on the Reykjanes Peninsula, spewing bright orange lava high into the air.

The eruption has sent fountains of molten rock soaring from a 3km long fissure, with lava now flowing just a few hundred metres from Grindavik, which was first evacuated back in November.

Geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson was quoted by Icelandic broadcaster RUV as saying this latest eruption is the most powerful so far.

The powerful lava stream has threatened the region’s main water pipe and is just 200m away, the Icelandic Met Office (IMO) said.

The water pipe is close to the Svartsengi power plant, a geothermal power plant that provides hot water to most of the peninsula.

The IMO head warned of “dangerous” consequences of lava possibly reaching the sea if it flows southward.

Residents of the fishing town of Grindavik have once again been evacuated from the area, having received text messages telling them to leave with just a few minutes notice.

Key Points

  • Iceland volcano erupts for fourth time since December

  • Lava close to Svartsengi plant but power remains uninterrupted

  • New map shows danger zone if lava reaches sea

Iceland volcano's powerful lava flows engulf peninsula amid fourth eruption in three months

15:38 , Alexander Butler

Pictured: Icelandic lava field

14:22 , Alexander Butler

A police officer and engineer stand next to the lava field of a volcanic eruption in Iceland (EPA)
A police officer and engineer stand next to the lava field of a volcanic eruption in Iceland (EPA)
A view of a lava field formed after a volcanic eruption, near Hagafell in the Reykjanes Peninsula on March 17 (EPA)
A view of a lava field formed after a volcanic eruption, near Hagafell in the Reykjanes Peninsula on March 17 (EPA)

Lava close to Svartsengi plant but power remains uninterrupted

13:30 , Alexander Butler

Officials said that Svartsengi power plant is fully operational despite the lava coming close and stopping 200 metres from its high-voltage lines and the hot-water pipes.

Kristinn Harðarson, CEO of production at HS Orka, told mbl.is. that the “lava tongue that came there stopped a bit from the high-voltage lines and our hot water pipeline, so there was no impact on those pipelines”.

“Svartsengi is fully operational and there is no interruption due to the eruption. Likewise, all the pipelines from the power plant are safe,” he said.

“We took such preventive measures to ensure electricity security in the power plant and therefore we had to take electricity off Grindavík for a short period because of that.”

Watch live: Iceland volcano spews lava near Grindavik as it erupts for fourth time in three months

12:45 , Alexander Butler

Watch: Iceland volcano spews lava as it erupts for fourth time in three months

Is it safe to travel to Iceland after volcanic eruption? Your rights if you have a holiday booked

12:12 , Alexander Butler

Is it safe to travel to Iceland after volcanic eruption?

Live stream of eruption from Þorbjorn

11:15 , Barney Davis

An eruption began on the Reykjaness Peninsula at 20.32 on Saturday evening, the seventh in almost three years.

Clouds and smoke shroud the view of this close-up 24/7 stream of the crater left behind.

Iceland volcano’s powerful lava flows engulf peninsula amid fourth eruption in three months

10:46 , Barney Davis

Powerful lava flows from a volcano engulfed parts of Iceland’s Reykjavik peninsula during its fourth eruption in three months.

The eruption began late on Saturday, 16 March, sending luminous orange jets of lava into the night sky.

Fountains of molten rock soared from a 3km long fissure, with lava flowing a few hundred metres from Grindavik, which was first evacuated in November.

Defensive barriers were built to stop it from inundating the main road along the peninsula’s southern coast.

No flight disruptions were reported but hundreds of people were evacuated from the Blue Lagoon thermal spa.

Iceland volcano’s powerful lava flows engulf peninsula amid fourth eruption

Is it safe to travel to Iceland after volcanic eruption? Your rights if you have a holiday booked

09:30 , Barney Davis

The earth is at its most restless in Iceland right now. Since November 2023 the Icelandic authorities have been monitoring seismic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik.

The latest eruption began on the evening of 16 March, with lava reaching the eastern edge of the fishing town of Grindavik – which has mostly been evacuated.

The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) reported: “The eruption began at 20:23 UTC on 16 March, with a 2.9-km-long fissure forming quickly. The length and location of the fissure is similar to the eruption on 8 February 2024.”

Is it safe to travel to Iceland after volcanic eruption?

Drone shots show eruption last night as authorities claim no activity on northern crack

08:03 , Barney Davis

Drone photos taken last night of the stormy activity seen in the southern areas around the abandoned town of Grindavik.

Authorities claim there is no visible activity on the crack on the north side, the pictures are shot from north to south.

 (Public Defence)
(Public Defence)
 (Public Defense)
(Public Defense)
 (Public defence)
(Public defence)

New map shows danger zone if lava reaches sea

07:53 , Barney Davis

Icelandic authorities have planned a new danger zone if lava rushing at 12mph last night manages to reach the sea.

Experts think it is unlikely that lava will reach the sea because it would take two days at current speeds.

A government spokesman added: “As volcanic eruptions continue, it is nevertheless important to be prepared for this scenario as the conditions that could arise are life-threatening to those within the affected area.”

 (vedur.is)
(vedur.is)

Watch video of lava gushing

06:58 , Shweta Sharma

Live streams set up as the volcano was first due to erupt last year captured stunning visuals of a river of lava gushing on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

It is the fourth eruption since December on the peninsula.

Huge volcano erupts again in Iceland spewing bright orange lava into the air

06:38 , Shweta Sharma

Lava close to Svartsengi plant but power remains uninterrupted

06:24 , Shweta Sharma

Officials said that Svartsengi power plant is fully operational despite the lava coming close and stopping 200 metres from its high-voltage lines and the hot-water pipes.

Kristinn Harðarson, CEO of production at HS Orka, told mbl.is. that the “lava tongue that came there stopped a bit from the high-voltage lines and our hot water pipeline, so there was no impact on those pipelines”.

“Svartsengi is fully operational and there is no interruption due to the eruption. Likewise, all the pipelines from the power plant are safe,” he said.

“We took such preventive measures to ensure electricity security in the power plant and therefore we had to take electricity off Grindavík for a short period because of that.”

Huge volcano erupts again in Iceland spewing bright orange lava into the air

06:07 , Shweta Sharma

A state of emergency has been declared in Iceland after a volcano erupted for the fourth time spewing bright orange lava metres into the air.

The dramatic event marks the fourth “alarming” volcanic eruption in three months along the Reykjavik peninsula, nearby the abandoned town of Grindavik.

The Icelandic Met Office said on Saturday night that the fissure had opened as livestreams of the event saw fountains of lava spewing into the sky.

Huge volcano erupts again in Iceland spewing bright orange lava into the air

Volcano barriers working to deflect lava flow

06:05 , Shweta Sharma

Man-made barriers are working in slowing down the rate of lava flow and steering it away from key infrastructure.

Halldor Geirsson, associate professor at the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland, said: “The rate of the lava flow is getting lower and lower.”

“Most of the flow is going east of the town towards the sea, so it looks like the barriers are doing the job they were designed for.”

He said that the lava flow was quite energetic, and there was a lot of material coming out.

Iceland‘s Meteorological Office said the eruption opened a fissure in the earth about two miles long between the mountains of Stora-Skogfell and Hagafell.

It said on Sunday that lava is flowing south and south-east at about 0.6mph, and might reach the sea. Defensive barriers have been built to stop it from inundating the main road along the peninsula’s southern coast.

Iceland volcano erupts for fourth time since December

05:49 , Shweta Sharma

Powerful lava flows from a volcano in southwest Iceland have forced authorities to declare a state of emergency.

The eruption began on Saturday for the fourth time since December along the Reykjavik peninsula, near the abandoned town of Grindavik.

The lava flows have threatened critical infrastructure in the region, with authorities monitoring lava gathering near defences and threatening a pipeline.

“The eruption was quite energetic, and there was a lot of material coming out, more than in the previous eruption. So lava was flowing quite fast,” Halldor Geirsson, associate professor at the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland told Reuters.

The Icelandic Met Office said on Saturday night that the fissure had opened as livestreams of the event showed fountains of lava spewing into the sky.

“Warning: An eruption began in Reykjanes,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office said on its website.Reykjavik’s nearby Keflavik Airport’s website showed it remained open both for departures and arrivals.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

05:15 , Shweta Sharma

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the Iceland volcano eruption, the fourth on the Reykjanes Peninsula since December.