It started all back in December 2019 with swarm of earthquakes and it was on and off until in February 2021 it escalated to a new level and we had thousand of earthquakes every week.
Some earthquakes reached the magnitude of 5.7 on the Richter scale. It was not a very pleasant period. You might be sitting at home reading a good book or watching television or even sleeping in your bed and suddenly everything around you start moving. Pictures on the wall move slightly and your heard or found something a split-second before the earthquake hits your.
The volcano eruption
And then on March 19th. 2021 a volcano eruption suddenly started. At first look this eruption was nothing compared to what we have had in Iceland before. This was just a tourist eruption and would not last long. But the eruption has increased. At one moment 5 different openings where active and the lava flowed freely all around. Now scientist say it can last for years.
The location of the eruption is at a very good place. It is up on a mountain in a place called Geldingardalur far away from towns and infrastructure. The Icelandic word dalur means valley. And Geldingardalur is a valley close to Fagradalsfjall (mountain).
The nearest town is Grindavík and the lava is not flowing in that direction. It is a good 2 hours walk from the road to the eruption. It is not for everyone to take that hike.
The eruption is constantly changing. Now it is erupting with a few minutes interval. The flow of the lava has increased. It is like 15 concrete trucks dump their loads every second for a few minutes and then they take a break before they start again dumping some more.
The lava may at some time even flow over Sudurstrandarveg road #427
How to get there
If your are traveling from the Reykjavik area your need to take road #41 towards Keflavik airport until your see a sign to Grindavik road number #43. When your get to Grindavik look for a sign for Suðurstrandarvegur road #427. You can park your car close to start of the trail and you need to pay for parking.
You can read more about Icelandic weather and what to were here.
Flowing lava is very dangerous. Keep a save distance and be aware of the gases. Yes, your can see some gases but some you can not see or smell. They can be deadly. This is no place for small children.
This is the first eruption in the Reykjanes peninsula for 800 years. On the Reykjanes peninsula are 4 different volcano systems. Now when this has started we can expect more activity and maybe closer to Reykjavik for the years to come.
You can learn more about the Reykjanes peninsula here.
I hope this information is helpful. Please be careful and respect the power of nature.
Please no not hesitate to leave a question or a comment below.
Þórhallur / Thorhallur