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Icelandic Volcano Eruption Forces Grindavík Evacuation, Disrupting Holiday Plans

7 months ago

This week's sudden eruption of a volcano on Iceland's Reykjanes peninsula forced the evacuation of the nearby fishing town Grindavík just days before Christmas, displacing 4,000 residents.

Despite decreasing activity signaling the eruption may be waning, officials warn significant ongoing threats to preclude allowing townspeople to return home to celebrate the holidays.

Originating Sunday night along an extensive 3.5-kilometer subsurface fissure just 3 kilometres from Grindavík, fresh lava flows and billowing smoke plumes continue emanating from the site.

Yet, while the eruption initially unleashed intense bursts of seismic activity and molten discharge, both intensity measures eased notably within 48 hours.

"The hope that had ignited for a homecoming in time for Christmas was extinguished when the eruption began," lamented Grindavík Mayor Fannar Jónasson, who stressed authorities are urgently working to secure temporary housing for those evacuated.


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