Fagradalsfjall volcano erupts near Iceland’s capital — here’s what you need to know

Mar 22, 2021

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On Friday night, a volcano erupted near Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, lighting up the night sky. Luckily, there have been no reports of damage or major flight disruptions.

The eruption occurred near Mount Fagradalsfjall, a mountain on the Reykjanes Peninsula, about 20 miles southwest of Reykjavik. Despite being considered small by volcano standards, the red lava spewing out of the ground provided residents with some awe-inspiring views. It also brought some relief for locals, following thousands of small earthquakes in the area in recent weeks.

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The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) confirmed that the eruption is still ongoing as of Sunday afternoon, but lava fountain activity is low. No volcanic ash has been detected, though a high level of volcanic gases has been measured close to the eruption site.

Related: How pilots deal with volcanic ash encounters

Unlike the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in 2010, which completely shut down European airspace, this eruption didn’t cause disrupt flights too much. Flights in and out of Keflavik International Airport (KEF) were cancelled on Friday but have since returned to normal operations. That said, there aren’t too many scheduled flights in and out of Iceland at the moment anyway.

Overall, this eruption shouldn’t have an impact on travel to the island. Iceland recently reopened its borders, welcoming tourists who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Featured photo by Vilhelm Gunnarsson/Getty Images

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