Video clips documented the moment when many homes and buildings caught fire in the Icelandic town of Grindavik after being surrounded by lava yesterday, Sunday, January 14, 2024, according to what the Icelandic Public Broadcasting Corporation announced.
The scenes captured by a drone showed the extent of the damage caused by the lava emanating from the ground, after two fissures opened in a place near the port of the famous fishing town of Grindavik in southwest Iceland.
Icelandic President Gudni Johansson said in a post on the On flights.
A new volcanic eruption began in the early morning just north of Grindavík. The town had already been successfully evacuated overnight and no lives are in danger, although infrastructure may be under threat. No interruptions to flights. For updated information follow @RuvEnglish pic.twitter.com/9mlOiMohC4
— President of Iceland (@PresidentISL) January 14, 2024
“Aerial footage from the Icelandic Coast Guard shows a lava flow near the town of Grindavik. Measures are being taken to defend the infrastructure,” Johansson said in another post.
Aerial footage from the Icelandic Coast Guard shows the proximity of the lava flow to the town of Grindavík. Measures are being taken to defend infrastructure. pic.twitter.com/fM0JEYetNA
— President of Iceland (@PresidentISL) January 14, 2024
The president also said in a televised speech on Sunday evening, “The country is struggling with enormous forces of nature. A arduous period of unrest has begun on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The people of Grindavík have proven their resilience.”
For his part, geophysicist Magnus Tommy Gudmundsson said, “The volcanic eruption diminished significantly overnight, but it is impossible to determine when it will end.”
The erupting volcano on the peninsula is the second in less than a month, as the authorities had ordered residents to leave the town of Grindavik, located in November 2023, after a previous eruption.
Last December 22, the authorities allowed residents to return temporarily after taking precautions to prevent lava from reaching homes, but some of them have now been partially penetrated.
On October 25, the Reykjanes Peninsula – southwest Iceland– Seismic activity greater than usual, as more than a thousand were detected earthquake The largest measured 4.5 on the Richter scale within a few hours, and hundreds of small earthquakes were recorded, causing some landslides.
This type of seismic activity is a dangerous indicator that volcanic magma is accumulating under the surface of the Earth, and may explode at any time, as a bulletin issued by the International Maritime Organization on November 20 indicated that the ground in that region is rising rapidly as magma accumulates beneath it. .
Then the competent authorities announced the evacuation of the small city of Grindavik, which is located about 50 kilometers southwest of the capital, Reykjavik, with a population of about 3,800, and closed a group of nearby tourist resorts.
Last July, a recent study published in the journal Science Advances determined the chemical composition of the magma that causes volcanoes.
The study said that the chemical composition of magma is a mixture of molten materials found deep in the Earth’s surface and is characterized by its high temperature. It emerges through holes or cracks in the crust, causing volcanic eruptions, then flowing to the Earth’s surface in the form of volcanic lava.
Magma consists of a liquid known as “melt,” gas, and crystals that grow as the temperature of the magma decreases as it moves to the Earth's surface. When magma explodes to turn into lava, it releases a gas containing water vapor, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and other compounds, and cools in the form of volcanic rock.
Iceland.. a region of volcanoes
Iceland is located above a hot volcanic area in the North Atlantic Ocean, and it witnesses an average of one eruption every 4 to 5 years.
The most devastating recent eruption of Eyjafjallajökull was the 2010 eruption, which spewed clouds of ash into the atmosphere and disrupted transatlantic air travel for months.
Scientifically, the Earth consists of several layers, the highest of which is the crust, followed by a layer called the mantle, and this layer sometimes contains melted rocks. Due to high temperatures and pressure, this is magma that is usually less dense than the surrounding rocks, so it rises towards the surface of the Earth, and collects in chambers resembling tanks under the Earth’s crust.
The magma in these chambers continues to accumulate, and its temperatures rise over time, leading to the accumulation of pressure on the earth’s crust from below. Over time, the pressure becomes strong enough to overcome the resistance of the rocks above them, especially if they are weak, porous areas, and so the volcano begins.
Iceland is one of these cases, as it is a volcanic island located on the border of two tectonic plates, the Eurasian plate and the North American plate. And to understand an idea Tectonic plates Imagine that the Earth's crust (which covers the planet) is like a paper puzzle with pieces overlapping each other. Likewise, tectonic plates are made up of overlapping pieces that move relative to each other at a small rate every year.
As these plates diverge and converge, the magma finds weak points to rise up and leak from the mantle to the surface. Therefore, Iceland has about 30 active volcanic systems, some of which are located under glaciers.
One of these volcanic systems is located in the Reykjanes Peninsula, an area that has witnessed a series of earthquakes and deformations of the Earth's crust since December 2019. This activity indicates that magma is pressing on the Earth's crust from below along a fissure 20 kilometers long, extending from an area Fagradalsfjall volcanic site on the southwest coast near the evacuated city of Grindavik.
Scientists reduce the possibility that the region will witness a severe volcanic eruption in the near future, noting that the risks of a volcanic eruption are “low” now, but if it occurs, it may be a severe explosion, because this type of volcano stores a large amount of gas under the earth’s crust, and with the first “venting.” “It explodes with the force of a nuclear bomb reaching the atmosphere.
A team of scientists believes that this region of Iceland is entering a new phase of volcanic activity that may last decades or centuries, in a way that did not happen except between the years 800 and 1240 AD, when lava flowed over large areas, reaching where the capital Reykjavik is now, due to volcanic activity in that region. Region.
Source : Al Jazeera + Websites + social media sites