comscore Hikers scramble as new fissure opens up at Icelandic volcano | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Hikers scramble as new fissure opens up at Icelandic volcano

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                The lava flowed from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday. Iceland’s latest volcano eruption is still attracting crowds of people hoping to get close to the gentle lava flows.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The lava flowed from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday. Iceland’s latest volcano eruption is still attracting crowds of people hoping to get close to the gentle lava flows.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                The lava flowed from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday. Iceland’s latest volcano eruption is still attracting crowds of people hoping to get close to the gentle lava flows.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The lava flowed from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday. Iceland’s latest volcano eruption is still attracting crowds of people hoping to get close to the gentle lava flows.

REYKJAVIK, Iceland >> Steam and lava spurted today from a new fissure at an Icelandic volcano that began erupting last month, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of hikers who had come to see the spectacle.

The new fissure, first spotted by a sightseeing helicopter, was about 550 yards long and about around a half-mile from the original eruption site in the Geldinga Valley.

The Icelandic Department of Emergency Management announced an immediate evacuation of the area. It said there was no imminent danger to life due to the site’s distance from popular hiking paths.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office said the new volcanic activity wasn’t expected to affect traffic at nearby Keflavik Airport.

The long-dormant volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland flared to life March 20 after tens of thousands of earthquakes were recorded in the area in the past three weeks. It was the area’s first volcanic eruption in nearly 800 years.

The volcano’s proximity to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, about 20 miles away, has brought a steady stream of tourists to the area, even with the country in partial lockdown to combat the coronavirus. Around 30,000 people have visited the area since the eruption began, according to the Icelandic Tourist Board.

Live footage from the area showed small spouts of lava coming from the new fissure.

Geophysicist Magnus Gudmundsson said the volcanic eruption could be moving north from its original location.

“We now see less lava coming from the two original craters,” he told The Associated Press. “This could be the beginning of second stage.”

Iceland, located above a volcanic hot spot in the North Atlantic, averages one volcanic eruption every four to five years. The last one was at Holuhraun in 2014, when a fissure eruption spread lava the size of Manhattan over the interior highland region.

In 2010, ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano shut down much international air travel for several days.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (0)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up