Iceland volcano erupts, prompting evacuation of Blue Lagoon, says public broadcaster

Iceland’s world-famous Blue Lagoon and the nearby town of Grindavik are under evacuation following a volcanic eruption in the country’s Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland’s public broadcaster RÚV reported Saturday.

Lava appeared to be flowing rapidly towards north of Grindavík, just as it did during the eruption on February 8, RÚV said citing the Icelandic Met Office.

“The fissure is about three kilometres long, and runs from Stóra-Skógfell towards Hagafell,” it said.

Located just under an hour’s drive from Iceland’s capital and largest city Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions.

The site is part of southwest Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula — a thick finger of land pointing west into the North Atlantic Ocean from Reykjavik. As well as the Blue Lagoon, the peninsula is home to Iceland’s main airport, Keflavik International.

Iceland is one of the most active volcanic areas on the planet. Rather than having a central volcano, the Reykjanes Peninsula is dominated by a rift valley, with lava fields and cones.

The lagoon was evacuated earlier in March due to seismic activity. In November, it was closed for a week after 1,400 earthquakes were measured in 24 hours.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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