Geophysics professor: “People can sleep soundly”
“This is not a fast-moving event and it is a good location to have an eruption. If it's little, it will just fill Geldingadalur,” Magnús Tumi says.
He says fissure eruptions are always biggest at the beginning, but that it is too early to talk about when the eruption will finish: “It could end tonight or after a month. We shouldn’t try to predict when it will stop.”
He says the emission of poisonous gas from the eruption seems to be low so far and that if this does not change, there will be no danger posed to anybody.
The eruption is a remarkable event, Magnús Tumi says, as it is the first eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in around 800 years and could mark the start of a period of several eruptions. “This is a very remarkable event, though it doesn’t exactly come as a surprise.”
The lava flow is around 100 cubic metres per second and no infrastructure is in danger from it. Magnús Tumi likens the flow of lava into Geldingadalur valley with the filling of a bathtub.
He says the only sensible thing to do in the circumstance is to go home and sleep well; saying that he will certainly do so. He finished by encouraging RÚV journalist Hólmfríður Dagný Friðjónsdóttir to do the same.
RÚV English will provide further coverage of the eruption over the course of this weekend.
The Met Office website en.vedur.is is updated round the clock.