Iceland volcano erupts on Reykjanes peninsula

A volcano has erupted on the Reykjanes peninsula of south-west Iceland, causing 4,000 people to evacuate from the fishing town of Grindavik and closing the nearby Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. The eruption started north of the town at 22:17 local time and is not expected to bring the same level of disruption as one in 2010, which halted European air travel.

=The region around the capital Reykjavik has been experiencing an increase in earthquake activity since late October. The eruption is located about 4km (2.5 miles) north-east of Grindavik and the seismic activity is moving towards the town. The length of the crack in the volcano is about 3.5km, with the lava flowing at a rate of around 100 to 200 cubic meters per second.

Iceland has been on high alert for a potential volcano eruption for several weeks, and last month authorities ordered people to leave Grindavik as a precaution. There were no reports of injuries. Volcanologist Dr Evgenia Ilyinskaya told the BBC that there would not be the same level of disruption as 2010, as these volcanoes in south-west Iceland are “physically not able to generate the same ash clouds”.