NewsIcelandic town of Grindavík ravaged by volcanic eruption: a 'black day in the country's history'

Icelandic town of Grindavík ravaged by volcanic eruption: a 'black day in the country's history'

The lava invaded the city. Houses are burning.
The lava invaded the city. Houses are burning.
Images source: © EPA, PAP | Anton Brink
2:02 AM EST, January 15, 2024

RUV, the Icelandic public broadcaster, released photos capturing a stream of destructing lava in a residential area of family homes. Cars have been abandoned on properties. The town of Grindavík is without power, and the water lines have been damaged.

Víðir Reynisson, the Chief of Police, stated during an evening press conference that this was the worst volcano-inflicted damage seen in Iceland since 1973.

"Today's events will be etched long in our memory. We're likely witnessing the start of an ongoing series of events," Reynisson commented.

Iceland: "A black day in history"

Iceland's Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, on January 14, described these events as a "black day in the country's history".

The nearby tourist hotspot, The Blue Lagoon, has been closed due to the associated risk.

"Life isn't at risk, although infrastructure could be," Iceland's President Gudni Johannesson posted on social media, adding that there were no disruptions in air traffic.

Another eruption took place on the Reykjanes peninsula on Sunday morning. The volcano has no cone form; instead, there are two fissures. The volcanic activity followed a series of earthquakes.

The previous eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula occurred on December 18 and was preceded by frequent seismic shocks lasting for weeks. This event resulted in the formation of a crack spanning several miles from which lava flowed.

However, the eruption didn’t threaten the town of Grindavík because the lava didn't flow in its direction. Nonetheless, significant damages to roads and infrastructure were caused by the potent earthquakes that occurred before the eruption.

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