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Spectacular river of lava flowing into Nátthagi

26.08.2021 - 16:20
Mynd: Daníel Páll Jónasson / RÚV
The lava flow from the erupting volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula has changed direction and is now flowing into southern Meradalir and into Nátthagi. The above video was shot by Daníel Páll Jónasson just before midday today.

Geophysicist Þorvaldur Þórðarsson is present at Nátthagi and says the lava flow is a sight to behold: “The lava is running down the slope in enjoyable torrents”. 

The lava has reached half way down Nátthagi and when it fills the meadow, the lava will overtop the barrier and eventually cut off the Suðurstrandarvegur road, if it continues flowing the same way. 

“Nátthagi appears to have become active again and the time until the lava reaches the barrier at the southern end is shortening. If it carries on, it’ll end with it going over the barrier and then Suðurstrandarvegur is next on the agenda,” Þorvaldur says. If flow continues as it currently is, that will happen in two weeks or so. Once the barrier is topped, it will take “a little while” to reach the road. “As far as Suðurstrandarvegur goes, we are still talking some weeks at any rate.” 

Þorvaldur says the flow rate is the same as it has been, but that a fissure has opened on the side of the crater which is causing it to flow more to the south than before. Surface flow down Meradalir has stopped and it is instead flowing into southern Meradalir. From there, glowing lava is flowing into Nátthagi. 

“It is a very impressive sight. It is a really pretty lava river. There are torrents or ‘waterfalls’ in it in the middle and a lot of surface spread. It’s very fun. Then there are these sorts of smaller lava fountains further down there and a fairly wide lava river which I then running down into Nátthagi itself. The forward edge of the lava field which is now moving over Nátthagi covers nearly the whole valley. In other words, it stretches between the slopes,” Þorvaldur explains. 

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