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On February 8th, 2024, at around 06:00, another eruption occurred on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It’s the sixth eruption since 2021, the third in just a few months. The eruption was located northeast of Sýlingarfell, not far away from the town of Grindavik, which is already known to suffer from frequent seismic activity. The eruption ended on February 9, leaving some damages behind that are now taken care of by the local authorities.

Key points:  

  • On February 9, the eruption ended. In the meantime, work to repair damages caused by the eruption has started.
  • While the Blue Lagoon closed, Icelandic travel and tourism remain largely unaffected, including flights. 
  • Our Iceland tours, except those that include the Blue Lagoon, are running as usual. 
  • The impact of this eruption is limited and does not pose a threat to most people in Iceland. 
  • No injuries have been reported, and this natural activity, while a concern, is a regular occurrence that makes Iceland a unique destination.

Our top priority is to keep our customers and employees safe. If there are any changes in the situation, we will post updates.

Nevertheless, now is an excellent opportunity to visit Iceland and safely experience this spectacular natural phenomenon firsthand.

ICELAND VOLCANO ERUPTION MAP

Recent volcano eruption in Iceland on the Reykjanes Peninsula

Guided Volcano Tours at Reykjanes Peninsula

What do we know about this volcanic eruption so far?

The newest volcanic eruption in Iceland began at around 06:00 on February 8, northeast of Sýlingarfell. The location is near the town of Grindavik. The fissure was about 3 kilometers long and was moving to the west. Its plumes were as high as 50 to 70 meters. On February 9, the eruption stopped.

February 9, 2024

  • The eruption has ended. 
  • The damage caused to the infrastructure is now being repaired. 

February 8, 2024

  • The location of the recent eruption is near the sight of the eruption that happened on December 18th, 2023.
  • The 3-kilometer-long lava flow now plumes reaching a height of 50-70 meters. 
  • Blue Lagoon has been evacuated and closed. The town of Grindavik remains evacuated as well.

January 14, 2024

  • The eruption took place near the town of Grindavik. The citizens had been evacuated previously, so no people were in danger.
  • Flights to and from the country are still operating, all services are available as per usual.

December 21, 2023

  • The eruption area remains off-limits for hiking. It's important to respect these safety measures until further notice.
  • For the best view of the eruption, check out the live streams.

December 20, 2023

  • The volcanic eruption at Sundhnúks crater in Iceland is stable with little change overnight.
  • Eruption intensity has decreased since starting on Monday.
  • Grindavík is currently safe from lava, which is moving north.

December 19, 2023

  • The greatest activity in the eruption became limited to a 300 to 500-meter-long ridge around the middle of the initial eruption zone.
  • Lava production decreased significantly, and it is now about 1/4 of what it was at the beginning. 
  • Efforts to protect against lava near Svartsengi are ongoing. The work includes closing gaps near road crossings and hot water pipes to ensure the area is physically defended.

December 18, 2023

  • The eruption began around 22:17 GMT following an earthquake swarm that started around 21:00.
  • The volcanic activity occurred around 4 km (2 miles) north of Grindavík, near the Sundhnúkar crater row.
  • The fissure is about 4 kilometers long, with lava flowing north and east but not south.
  • Flights to and from Iceland were not disrupted, and international flight corridors remain open.
  • The public was advised not to approach the eruption site; local police raised their alert level.

Additional sources: RUV.is, Vedur.is (Icelandic Met Office), safetravel.is

ICELAND VOLCANO ERUPTION LIVE VIDEO

Grindavik - Mosaic

ICELAND VOLCANO ERUPTION QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Yes, approximately 4,000 residents of Grindavík were evacuated as a precaution in November. Authorities continue to monitor the situation closely.

The Icelandic Police's National Commissioner has declared an emergency situation, and the Civil Protection Agency is actively involved. The government asks the public to give emergency responders space and follow traffic instructions.

No, flights have not been disrupted by the eruption. Iceland’s government has confirmed that international flight corridors remain open, and Keflavík International Airport operates normally with some delays.

There is currently no immediate threat to human life from the volcanic eruption, as the lava is flowing away from populated areas. The fissure, located approximately 4 km (2 mi) from the town of Grindavík, is not directing the flow of lava towards it.

The eruption began with much force, but recent reports suggest its intensity is decreasing. This doesn't necessarily mean the eruption will end soon, but it is getting closer to a balance.

The public is advised not to approach the eruption site while emergency personnel assess the situation. The safety of visitors and residents is a priority, and the area is under close monitoring.

This eruption is more powerful than previous ones in the area, with a fissure four times longer and a lava flow rate several times faster. It is considered a considerable eruption.

According to experts, the current volcanic eruption in Iceland is not expected to cause as much disruption as the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in 2010. Although Iceland is no stranger to volcanic activity, this eruption is noteworthy due to its magnitude and location.

Guided tours are usually the safest and most informative option when visiting volcanic sites. However, the ongoing eruption is intense and rapidly changing, so it is best to avoid the area until authorities confirm that it is safe to visit.

The eruption at Meradalir ended on August 21, 2022. The current eruption, which started on February 8, 2024, is a separate event located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, north of Grindavík.

Visiting a volcano is safest when done with a guided tour. However, visiting the current eruption site is not recommended due to its intensity and proximity to populated areas. The authorities will update the situation and inform when safe visits are possible.

For your safety, it's not recommended to hike up to the eruption site due to the current characteristics of the eruption. The authorities are monitoring the area closely. Please follow all safety instructions and updates.

In general, when visiting volcanic areas, it's important to stay at a safe distance, be aware of gas exposure, and know the direction of the wind.

About Eruption in July 2023

The eruption in July 2023 occurred at Litli-Hrútur on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It was characterized by a small-scale eruption with significant lava flow and gas emissions but no major disruption to flights or infrastructure.

  • The eruption began on July 10, 2023, near Litli-Hrútur mountain.
  • Small-scale eruption with a 200-meter-long fissure. High levels of volcanic gases were a concern.
  • There was no harm to communities or infrastructure. Keflavik Airport remained operational.
  • Hiking trails were temporarily closed due to gas pollution.
  • Access to the eruption site was opened to the public on July 17, 2023, with guided tours available.
  • Seismic activity was reduced to normal levels by July 13, 2023.
  • Different in nature from the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption.
  • The Reykjanes peninsula's Litli-Hrútur eruption has ended and been quiet since 5 August. 
  • Many tours were organized to the area to see the newly formed lava field.

About Eruption In 2022

  • The Meradalir volcano erupted again on August 3rd, 2022, almost a year after the last eruption had occurred.
  • The eruption that opened in the Meradalir Valley is a fissure eruption, meaning that instead of the crater, the lava comes out of the fissure vent, usually without explosive activity.  
  • The initial size of this fissure is around 300 meters long, but it is expected to get bigger.
  • As for now, the eruption causes no threat to the surrounding infrastructure, lives, or air traffic. The flights to the Keflavik International Airport proceed as usual.
  • This year’s eruption is 5-10 times bigger in lava and gas volume than last year’s.
  • Meradalir volcanic eruption site can be accessed by a 17 km hike (both ways) and is considered challenging. 
  • It is advised to be mindful of gas and not to bring pets or children to the site. 
  • The eruption officially ended after 18 days, on August 21, 2022.

About Eruption in 2021

Couple Taking Pictures of Erupting Volcano

The Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland erupted on March 19, 2021, and stopped on September 18, 2021, after 6 months. This eruption was the first one on the Reykjanes Peninsula in about 800 years. It was characterized by small size, with no ashfall reported.

  • The eruption began in Geldingadalur, Fagradalsfjall around 8:45 PM on a Friday.
  •  In the months leading up to the eruption, over 40,000 tremors were recorded, some reaching magnitudes up to 5.6.
  • The name Fagradalsfjall combines Icelandic words meaning "fair", "valley", and "mountain". The mountain massif is named after Fagridalur, meaning "fair dale" or "beautiful valley".
  • The eruption began with a 600-700 meter-long fissure vent in Geldingadalir, just south of Fagradalsfjall.
  • The lava flow from the eruption was intense, but it did not harm any residents because the area is mostly uninhabited.
  • However, high levels of volcanic gases like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide made parts of the area difficult to access.
  • Two new fissures, approximately 100 to 200 meters long, opened near Geldingadalur, with minimal warning signals.
  • Around 400-500 visitors were evacuated from the site when the new fissures opened.
  • The lava flowed into Meradallir, forming a thin, quickly-moving lava field.
  • A new hiking trail to the eruption site was established, with improved accessibility.
  • This eruption, visible from the suburbs of Reykjavik, attracted a large number of visitors. It's often referred to as a "tourist eruption" due to its accessibility and minor risk to spectators with proper precautions.