Lava bypasses town, dodges devastation in Iceland volcanic eruption

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

A massive volcanic eruption in Iceland seems to have spared the only town in its path, offering a glimmer of hope for the residents of Grindavik.

Geologists and rescue officials are now breathing a sigh of relief as the lava takes an unexpected detour away from the vulnerable town.

The explosive volcanic eruption, which rocked the Reykjanes peninsula on the night of December 18, sent lava and smoke soaring over 100 metres into the air, marking the culmination of weeks of seismic activity. However, Icelandic authorities swiftly reassured the public and confirmed that flights to and from Iceland remain unaffected.

“The volcanic eruption does not present a threat to life.”

Last month, almost 4,000 residents were evacuated from Grindavik, located just 40 kilometres southwest of Reykjavik, due to the heightened seismic activity. Live streams and captivating images captured the breathtaking spectacle of bright yellow, orange, and red lava against the night sky, as a 4-kilometre fissure opened up, spewing molten fountains, reported Bangkok Post.

Despite the awe-inspiring display, the Iceland Meteorological Office (IMO) provided a glimmer of hope, revealing that the southernmost point of the crack remained 3 kilometres away from Grindavik. Geologist Bjorn Oddson affirmed the location of the volcanic eruption.

“The eruption is taking place north of the watershed, so lava does not flow towards Grindavik.”

Iceland, nestled between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, is no stranger to seismic and volcanic activity. With 33 active volcano systems, the Reykjanes peninsula saw its first eruption in eight centuries in 2021, with three more following in remote, uninhabited areas.

In related news, the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) has extended an invitation to Thai citizens to witness the Geminids meteor shower, commonly known as the Gemini Twins meteor shower, which peaked on December 14, continuing into the early hours of December 15. Read more about this story HERE.

In other news, young minds from all corners of Thailand recently converged in Bangkok to unveil General Comment No. 26 (GC26), a global manifesto championing children’s rights and environmental protection. Read more about this story HERE.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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