Second Volcanic Evacuation Looms for Icelandic Town Grindavik

Second Volcanic Evacuation Looms for Icelandic Town Grindavik

Residents of the Icelandic fishing town of Grindavik are facing a second evacuation as new volcanic fissures have opened nearby, prompting the National Commissioner of Police to issue an evacuation order, CNN reported. Grindavik, situated approximately 70 kilometres southwest of Reykjavik on the Reykjanes peninsula, had previously been evacuated in November due to heightened seismic activity that culminated in a volcanic eruption, emitting lava and massive plumes of smoke. The town, renowned for the iconic Blue Lagoon, a popular tourist attraction featuring steaming geothermal water, is now under renewed threat.

The Civil Protection Agency announced on Saturday that the evacuation order would likely be in effect for the next three weeks, with exceptions only for essential official activities or brief periods for residents to salvage valuables. Iceland, home to 32 active volcano es, sits on a tectonic plate boundary, resulting in constant geological activity. Despite the frequency of volcanic eruptions, they often occur in uninhabited areas. The country declared a state of emergency in November due to the escalating volcanic activity.

A video showing molten rock spewing from fissures in the ground and bright orange lava flow contrasting with the sky indicates that the eruption began north of the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated on Saturday amid a swarm of seismic activity, according to authorities. Iceland's civil protection agency has raised its alert level to emergency, the highest on a three-level scale, signaling an event that could potentially cause harm to people, communities, property, and the environment.

While the current situation in Grindavik raises concerns, authorities remain hopeful that the impact will be less severe than past volcanic events, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing public safety in the face of natural disasters.

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