Large Volcano Erupts in Iceland

December 19, 2023

It’s amazing to see but, there’s kind of a bittersweet feeling at the moment.

Ael Kermarec, a French tour guide living in Iceland, discussing the volcanic eruption in southwestern Iceland. While the region prepared ahead of time for the eruption, a nearby fishing village evacuated a month ago and residents expect their homes to be flooded by lava.

Why It Matters: The volcano erupted in Iceland’s most populated region, around 30 miles from the capital city of Reykjavik. The eruption, while larger than originally expected and still unpredictable regarding its flow, will likely not cause harm to any people as preparation began weeks in advance.

Broader Context: The Reykjanes Peninsula, where the current eruption is located, has experienced four volcanic eruptions in the past two years. Because of the prevalent nature of volcanoes, “Iceland has one of the world’s most effective volcanic preparedness measures,” according to government authorities. With a population of 400,000 people, Iceland has about 130 volcanoes as it straddles two tectonic plates.

Livestream of the eruption.

Read More:

After Weeks of Warnings, Iceland Volcano Erupts in Plumes of Fire (The New York Times)

A volcano erupts in southwestern Iceland and spews magma in a spectacular show of Earth’s power (The Associated Press)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas