The nickname “Land of Fire and Ice” really holds up…
I opened up social media this morning and was hit with a barrage of pictures and videos from Iceland, which is not a country that tends to get a lot of media coverage for just about anything (unless The Mountain from Game of Thrones does something with his shirt off), and after digging in to some of the details, it’s a wild scene up north.
According to Fox News, a volcano in southwestern Iceland erupted late last night after researchers from the nearby Icelandic Meteorological Office tracked increased activity over the past few weeks. The IMO then made an official declaration on X that a large eruption began after the area was hit with an “earthquake swarm”.
This took place less than 2 miles north of a small fishing town of around 4,000 people called Grindavik. Residents were evacuated and authorities are warning them that it may be months before they can safely return to their homes.
Between 100 to 200 cubic meters of lava is pouring out of a 2.1 mile long crack in the earth’s surface every second. For reference, there’s approximately 100 cubic meters of space in an 18-wheeler’s trailer, and that’s the low end of how much is flowing per second. Every minute, enough lava is flowing out to fill at least 3 Olympic sized swimming pools.
Iceland was created by volcanic eruptions about 70 million years ago and the threat of this happening is a constant fear for residents, but we haven’t seen activity of this size or scope in quite some time. In total, Iceland has around 130 volcanoes, 33 of which are active. Since 2021 there have been three eruptions, which broke a period of 800 years of dormancy.
The numbers alone are enough to take your breath away, but when you look at some of the videos that have been posted online of the eruption, things are put into an entirely new perspective. Here’s some of the best shots I’ve been able to find.
The eruption that started last night is currently concentrated along a specific 300 to 500-meter-long ridge, as disclosed by a post from the Research Unit in Volcanology and Natural Hazards at the University of Iceland.
While this is a very natural process, it doesn’t make it any less scary or jaw dropping, especially when you consider the families that now have been displaced because of it.
Prayers up for everyone in the area and for the scientists and researchers who are nearby to report on conditions. Hopefully things die down soon and all is okay, but man this footage is truly incredible.