A volcano in the Fagradals Mountains, 32 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, erupted on March 20, 2021 around 2045 GMT lighting up the night sky. Authorities said the eruption was small and there was no need to evacuate residents of the nearest town.
— Icelandic Meteorological Office – IMO (@Vedurstofan) March 19, 2021
The volcano in the Fagradals Mountain, Reykjanes Peninsula, had lain dormant for 6000 years. (A dormant volcano is an active volcano that is not erupting, but is supposed to erupt again.) The eruption was Reykjanes Peninsula’s first in 781 years. Initial aerial footage, posted on social media by the Icelandic Meteorological Office, showed a relatively small eruption. The glow from the lava could be seen from the outskirts of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík.
The Department of Emergency Management said there was no need of evacuations because the volcano was in a remote valley, about 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the nearest road.
The Meteorological Office had been recording a rise in daily earthquakes and other seismic activity on the peninsula recently. In early March it reported that a small-scale volcanic eruption was likely to occur. The scientists did not anticipate the eruption because the seismic activity had decreased slightly right before the eruption.
Iceland’s Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir tweeted. “We ask people to keep away from the immediate area and stay safe.”