Iceland volcano 2023: Is it safe to travel and is the eruption affecting flights?

An eruption occurred close to the city of Grindavik on Monday night time.


A volcano erupted late on Monday night time (18 December) on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, weeks after hundreds of small quakes rocked the southwest coast.

The newest eruption started at 10:17pm about 4km northeast of Grindavik. 

Because the eruption unfold, magma, or semi-molten rock, might be seen spewing alongside the ridge of a hill.

The depth of the eruption decreased into the early hours of Tuesday morning, in accordance with the Icelandic Met Workplace, although this isn’t a sign of how lengthy it would final.

“It may be over in every week, or it might take fairly a bit longer,” says scientist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, who flew over the positioning on Tuesday morning onboard on a coast guard analysis flight.

Regardless of mendacity simply 20 km north of the eruption website, Keflavik Worldwide Airport – Iceland’s major worldwide airport – has not been closed and flights are nonetheless arriving and departing. The highway between the airport and Grindavik is closed, nonetheless.

In case you are planning on travelling to or from the affected space, listed here are the complete particulars on recommendation from European governments and which airways are nonetheless working flights.

Iceland’s volcano eruption ‘just isn’t a vacationer attraction’

Icelandic authorities declared a state of emergency in November after lots of of small earthquakes shook the Reykjanes Peninsula – the island nation’s most populated area. 

As fears of an eruption grew final month, 4,000 individuals had been evacuated from the world. They had been solely allowed again briefly to accumulate their belongings.

This meant few individuals had been close to the positioning of eruption went it occurred on Monday night time and authorities have warned others to remain away. 

“This isn’t a vacationer attraction and it’s essential to watch it from an awesome distance,” Vidir Reynisson, head of Iceland’s Civil Safety and Emergency Administration, informed nationwide broadcaster RUV.

The eruptive fissure is about 4km lengthy, with the northern finish simply east of Stóra-Skógfell and the southern finish simply east of Sundhnúk.

But the spectacular pure phenomenon is tough for individuals to withstand. “It’s simply [like] one thing from a film!” mentioned Robert Donald Forrester III, a vacationer from the USA.

For native residents, the feelings are combined. “The city concerned may find yourself below the lava,” mentioned Ael Kermarec, a French tour information residing in Iceland. “It’s wonderful to see however, there’s form of a bittersweet feeling in the mean time.”

Have flights to Iceland been cancelled?

Issues have been raised over the influence the eruption could have on journey.

Volcanic eruptions can pose a severe hazard to air journey as ash launched into the environment may cause jet engines to fail, injury flight management methods and scale back visibility.

Iceland’s authorities have raised their aviation alert to orange, indicating though a volcanic eruption is underway, there may be minor ash emission, if any.

Flights are at present nonetheless working as regular to the close by Keflavik Worldwide Airport. There haven’t been cancellations or vital delays because of the eruption. Icelandair says there was no influence on its flight schedule, and Play says it doesn’t count on any disruptions to its schedule.


Most airways have mentioned that they may instantly contact prospects if this adjustments. Passengers have been suggested to maintain a detailed eye on messages from their airline.

The roads from the airport to Grindavik and the Blue Lagoon are closed whereas the state of affairs is being evaluated.

A significant eruption in Iceland in April 2010 brought about widespread disruption to air journey between Europe and North America. The quarter of a billion cubic metres of volcanic ash it ejected into the air led to greater than 100,000 flights being cancelled over an eight-day interval.

Although there had been fears of a repeat, Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted below circumstances that contributed to the immense measurement of its ash cloud. A glacier on prime of it brought about meltwater to quickly cool the lava, creating tiny particles which had been launched into the air by the steam produced within the eruption. These had been then carried on the wind in the direction of Europe.

The latest eruption came about below very totally different circumstances decreasing the probabilities of comparable flight chaos. Up to now three years, three eruptions have taken place on the Reykjanes Peninsula with no influence on air journey. 


The European Aviation Security Company (EASA) can be higher ready for a serious volcanic ash occasion. 

“Within the occasion of an eruption and improvement of an ash cloud, the company will work with different aviation actors to evaluate the influence for aviation and make suggestions accordingly,” a press release on the EASA’s web site from November reads. 

Is it protected to journey to Iceland?

The UK International Workplace has not but up to date its Iceland journey recommendation however beforehand directed travellers to the Icelandic Met Office and Safe Travel Iceland for the most recent recommendation.

They’ve mentioned that the eruption space is closed till additional discover and urge individuals to respect the closure. Nonetheless they haven’t suggested in opposition to journey to the nation altogether.

Guests are suggested to keep away from the city of Grindavík and the encircling space, and to observe the instructions and steerage of the native authorities.


International locations haven’t issued a ‘no-go’ journey warning for Iceland which means that airways and vacation corporations are working as regular and travellers who cancel their bookings haven’t any automated proper to a refund.

“We’d wish to stress, that if the present FCO steerage stays advisory, insurance coverage protection stands as regular,” says Jonathan Frankham, Common Supervisor of journey insurance coverage firm World Nomads.

“Nonetheless, if a pure disaster reminiscent of an earthquake, flood or volcano impacts your journey plans and/or injures it’s essential to verify your coverage particulars. For instance, at World Nomads, it’s essential to have bought your coverage earlier than these highly effective forces of nature grow to be a ‘identified occasion’ and be on an Explorer Plan for us to contemplate protection.” 

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa – certainly one of Iceland’s greatest vacationer sights – briefly closed on 9 November after being hit by earthquakes. After briefly reopening on 16 December it’s now closed once more following the eruption.

“All friends with confirmed bookings within the upcoming days might be contacted,” an replace on its web site reads. “We are going to proceed to observe the progress and keep shut communication with the authorities, prioritising security and well-being.”


Surrounding spas, motels and eating places will even be closed.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Proceed Booking