Iceland volcano 2024: Is it safe to travel and is the eruption affecting flights?


The volcano has erupted for the fourth time in three months and it’s the strongest but.

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A volcano in Iceland has erupted for the fourth time in three months, with this being probably the most highly effective to date.

The eruption started simply earlier than 8.30pm native time on Saturday and it’s ongoing, however scientists say it’s prone to be tapering off.

A whole lot of tourists have been evacuated from the Blue Lagoon thermal spa, certainly one of Iceland’s high vacationer points of interest, when the eruption started, nationwide broadcaster RUV mentioned.

The eruption website is a number of kilometres northeast of Grindavik, a coastal city of three,800 individuals about 50 kilometres southwest of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. Residents of Grindavik have been instructed to go away their properties.

Regardless of mendacity simply 20 km north of the eruption website, Keflavik Worldwide Airport – Iceland’s primary worldwide airport – stays open and flights are nonetheless arriving and departing. The roads round Grindavik are closed, nonetheless.

In case you are planning on travelling to or from the affected space, listed below are the total particulars on recommendation from European governments and airways.

How lengthy will Iceland’s volcano eruption final?

Iceland’s Meteorological Workplace says the eruption opened a fissure within the earth about 3 kilometres lengthy between the mountains of Stóra-Skógfell and Hagafell.

The Met Workplace mentioned Sunday that lava was flowing south and southeast at about 1 kilometre an hour, and would possibly attain the ocean. Defensive limitations have been constructed to cease it inundating the primary highway alongside the peninsula’s southern coast. These are to date holding.

The Grindavik neighborhood was beforehand evacuated in November following a collection of earthquakes that opened massive cracks within the earth between the city and Sýlingarfell, a small mountain to the north. 

Earlier than the latest eruptions, the Svartsengi volcanic system north of Grindavik had been dormant for round 780 years. The volcano is only a few kilometres west of Fagradalsfjall, which was dormant for six,000 years earlier than flaring to life in March 2021.

Iceland’s volcano eruption ‘is just not a vacationer attraction’

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

“This isn’t a vacationer attraction and you have to watch it from a terrific distance,” Vidir Reynisson, head of Iceland’s Civil Safety and Emergency Administration, instructed nationwide broadcaster RUV.

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 US.

For native residents, the feelings are blended. “The city concerned would possibly find yourself below the lava,” mentioned Ael Kermarec, a French tour information dwelling in Iceland. “It’s wonderful to see however, there’s sort of a bittersweet feeling in the meanwhile.”

Have flights to Iceland been cancelled?

Regardless of issues over the influence the eruption can have on journey, close by Keflavik Airport stays operational. Icelandic airport operator ISAVIA advises passengers to observe flight data here.

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

Nevertheless, Saturday’s eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula isn’t anticipated to launch massive quantities of ash into the air.

A serious eruption in Iceland in April 2010 precipitated 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.

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

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 secure to journey to Iceland?

Varied European overseas places of work have suggested travellers to steer clear of Grindavik and respect native restrictions. They direct travellers to the Icelandic Met Office and Safe Travel Iceland for the newest recommendation.

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The UK’s Overseas Workplace mentioned in up to date journey recommendation for Iceland: 

“Iceland is volcanic and seismically energetic. Lately there have been a collection of volcanic eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula in south-west Iceland, the newest occurring on 16 March. 

Keflavik Worldwide Airport and the highway to it’s unaffected and working usually. 

The capital metropolis, Reykjavik, and the remainder of Iceland is just not impacted by the eruptions. The probability of additional eruptions on this location stays excessive.”

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

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Guests are suggested to steer clear of the realm surrounding the eruption, and to comply with the instructions and steering 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 don’t have any computerized proper to a refund.

Throughout a earlier eruption Jonathan Frankham, basic supervisor of journey insurance coverage firm World Nomads, mentioned: “For these involved about journey insurance coverage protection, and whether or not cancelling a visit is greatest, we’d advise travellers to train widespread sense and journey correctly,” says

“It’s necessary to notice that insurance policies bought after the earthquakes and consequential volcanic eruption turned a ‘recognized occasion’ are unlikely to be lined, however we suggest checking your coverage wording for precise particulars.”

He suggested vacationers to contact their airline or journey supplier for help and the newest data.

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Is the Blue Lagoon open?

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa – certainly one of Iceland’s largest vacationer points of interest – was evacuated on Saturday when the volcanic eruption started.

The spa remains to be closed and can stay so tomorrow (Tuesday), in accordance with the official website.

“Because of a volcanic eruption that commenced at Sundhnúkagígar on March 16, we’ve evacuated and quickly closed all our operational models.

Regardless of these latest occasions, all our services stay in good situation and are surrounded by protecting limitations designed to safeguard Blue Lagoon’s important infrastructure in opposition to potential lava flows.

We are going to proceed to carefully comply with the rules and proposals of the authorities, working collaboratively with them to observe the development of occasions.”

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Blue Lagoon administration mentioned that each one clients with bookings could be contacted, and anybody wishing to alter or cancel their reserving might achieve this on the web site.



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