REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) – Steam and lava emerged on Monday from a new fissure at the Icelandic volcano that started erupting last month, evacuating hundreds of climbers.
The new fissure, first seen by a sightseeing helicopter, is approximately 500 meters (550 yards) long and about a kilometer. (About half a mile) from the original ignition in the Geldinga Valley
Iceland’s Department of Emergency Management announced an immediate evacuation from the area. Said there is no life-threatening, as the site’s distance is a popular hiking trail.
The Icelandic Meteorological Agency said the new volcanic eruption was not expected to affect traffic at nearby Keflavik airport.
The long dormant volcano on Iceland̵7;s southwestern Reykjanes peninsula came to life on March 20 after tens of thousands of earthquakes have been recorded in the area over the past three weeks. It was the first volcanic eruption in nearly 800 years.
The Reykjavik volcano near the Icelandic capital, some 32 kilometers (20 miles) away, has continued to keep tourists flocking to the area, although the country has been partially blocked to fight the coronavirus. About 30,000 people have visited the area since the eruption began, according to the Icelandic Tourism Board.
Fresh images from the area show small bursts of lava coming from the new fissures.
Magnus Gudmundsson, a geophysicist, said the volcanic eruption may have moved north from its original location.
“Now we are seeing less lava from two original craters,” he told The Associated Press.
Iceland, which sits above a volcanic hotspot in the North Atlantic Ocean, experiences an average of one volcanic eruption every four to five years, the last being at Holuhraun in 2014, when the rift erupts lava in size. Equal to Manhattan above the inner highlands
In 2010, volcanic ash Eyjafjallajokull Iceland’s international air travel has been closed for several days.