Photos capture Iceland’s powerful volcanic eruption

Iceland volcano erupts after weeks of preparation

Following weeks of warning signs, including thousands of earthquakes, a volcano on southern Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula began erupting in spectacular fashion Monday night.

Iceland’s Meteorological Office said that the eruption opened an approximately 2.5-mile-long fissure, and created lava fountains up to 98 feet high.

Last month, the 3,400 residents of the fishing village of Grindavík, the town nearest the volcano, were evacuated in anticipation of the pending eruption.

The meteorological office noted Tuesday the southernmost point of the erupting volcano was about 1.86 miles from the town, and that the volcano’s intensity was weakening. The lava also appeared to be flowing away from Grindavík.

Here are some of the extraordinary images of the eruption:

The evacuated Icelandic town of Grindavik is seen as smoke billow and lava is thrown into the air from a fissure during a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula on Dec. 19, 2023. 
People view the volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula on Dec. 19, 2023, in Grindavik, Iceland. 
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images
A view of lava after the volcanic eruption northeast of Grindavik, Iceland, on Dec. 19, 2023. 
Volcanologists from the University of Iceland watch the eruption on Dec. 19, 2023. 
Getty Images
This image from video provided by the Icelandic Coast Guard shows its helicopter flying near magma running on a hill north of Grindavik on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula late on Dec. 18 or early Dec. 19, 2023. 
Icelandic coast guard via AP
An aerial view of the eruption south of Grindavik on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, Dec. 19, 2023.
Marco Di Marco / AP
An aerial view of volcanic activity near Grindavik on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula. Dec. 19, 2023.
Marco Di Marco / AP
Dec. 18, 2023, north of Grindavik, Iceland.
Getty Images
The volcanic eruption as seen from the village of Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, on Dec. 18, 2023. 
A drone picture shows lava spewing from the site of the volcanic eruption north of Grindavik, photographed from Sylingarfell, Iceland, December 19, 2023.
Sigurdur Mar Davidsson / REUTERS
Smoke rises as a volcano erupts along Route 41 in the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland December 19, 2023.
Sigurdur Mar Davidsson / REUTERS

  • Volcano
  • Eruption
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