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Volcano erupts in Iceland, forcing residents to evacuate fishing town

A volcano erupted early Sunday morning in southwest Iceland, forcing residents of a nearby fishing town to evacuate for the second time in a month.

Residents of Grindavik, a town 25 miles southwest of the capital Reykjavik, were evacuated overnight ahead of the seismic activity and no people were in danger as as molten rock began to burst out of the ground, authorities said.

“No lives are in danger, although infrastructure may be under threat,” Iceland’s President Gudni Johannesson wrote on X.

Footage shared online showed immense chunks of bright orange semi-molten rock spewing out of cracks in the ground.

The eruption began before 8 a.m. just north of Grindavik, a town known for its Blue Lagoon, a popular tourist destination.

Grindavik residents were evacuated from their homes in November and forced to stay away for six weeks following a series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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.

The nearby Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a popular tourist attraction named one of National Geographic’s 25 wonders of the world, also closed temporarily.

In response, authorities built barriers around the volcano in hopes of preventing lava from reaching the community, though the latest eruption has already breached the defensive structures.

“According to the first images from the Coast Guard’s surveillance flight, a crack has opened on both sides of the defenses that have begun to be built north of Grindavík,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office IMO said.

Lava flowing toward the town had come within 1,500 feet, the IMO said.

It was the second volcano eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland in less than a month and the fifth outbreak since 2021.

Iceland, which sits above a volcanic hot spot, sees an eruption every four to five years on average.

It was the second volcano eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland in less than a month and the fifth outbreak since 2021.

Halfway across the world, Indonesia’s Mount Marapi erupted again on Sunday, forcing at least 100 residents to evacuate as smoke and ash shot 4,265 feet into the air before sending down ash rain.

Marapi, known for sudden and difficult-to-predict eruptions, had its threat level raised from a Level 2 to Level 3, the second-highest level, on Wednesday.

Its eruption in early December shot thick columns of ash as high as more than 9,800 feet that killed 24 climbers and injured several others who were caught by a surprise weekend eruption.

No casualties had been reported Sunday.

With Post wires.

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