Athugið þessi frétt er meira en 1 ára gömul.

Daylight revealed “little and beautiful” eruption

20.03.2021 - 12:29
Mynd: Almannavarnadeild ríkislögregl / Almannavarnadeild Ríkislögregl
“We can see the fissures that opened yesterday and then the lava flows running out. We flew over in the dark last night, but when people see it with the mountains and valley for comparison, then it is somewhat smaller than expected when flown over yesterday,” says Björn Oddsson, geophysicist with the civil protection department. He was among the people who flew over the eruption this morning.

The force of the lava flow has reduced and the reported hundred-metre-tall fountains of lava at the beginning of the eruption are no longer visible. There is little or no ash production, and minimal gas emissions. The eruption is “little and beautiful,” according to the civil protection department. 

"This is very well contained in this valley where the fissure has opened and should not cause further danger, if that does not change,” says Björn. “It can’t change much unless the lava flow increases a lot, but if it does gather some more force, it will still be in this very small valley it is in and it will more likely get thicker than spread over a wider area.” 

Björn says it cannot be ruled out that another fissure opens in a different location, so scientists are still monitoring the Reykjanes peninsula very closely. 

It is still not clear how long the eruption will last, but a decision was already taken this morning to lower the civil protection alert level from emergency down to danger. 

“It is on the scale of one to two kilometres, not much longer than that, the lava flows and fissure. It is that small and is much smaller than the beginning of the Fimmvörðuháls eruption was in its day,” Björn says. 

He says it is impossible to say if the eruption will last a few more hours, days or weeks. It is not stopping at this time, however, and appears fairly stable.

Civil protection police chief Víðir Reynisson told RÚV TV this lunchtime that the roads closest to the eruption are closed but that the Reykjanes peninsula is not closed generally—though he advises people to stay away from the volcano because the ground is slippery, there is rain and fog in the area, and the most dangerous thing, the potentially poisonous gas, is invisible. 

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