Iceland volcano erupts within miles of country’s capital
A volcano erupted on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland, near the capital Reykjavik, following intense earthquake activity in the area, the country’s Meteorological Office (IMO) said on Monday. (COURTESY: Reuters)
Tourists are reportedly fleeing Iceland’s world-renowned Blue Lagoon geothermal spa after earthquakes rocked the area, forcing the spa to temporarily close the bathing spot over volcanic eruption concerns.
“Blue Lagoon has proactively chosen to temporarily suspend operations for one week, despite the authorities not raising the current level of uncertainty during this period of seismic activity,” the Blue Lagoon Resort and Spa posted on its website.
The closure began Thursday and will run through Nov. 16. The announcement reportedly spooked at least 40 guests who were seen jumping into taxis and leaving the resort, the Icelandic newspaper Vikurfrettir reported.
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Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland. (Sergio Pitamitz/VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The Blue Lagoon is located on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula, which sees an estimated 700,000 tourists and visitors each year, and is considered one of the Nordic island nation’s most iconic attractions. Bathers visit to unwind in the lagoon’s roughly 100-degree, mineral-rich waters that reportedly boosts visitors’ collagen production and hydrates skin.
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Blue Lagoon Thermal Area in Iceland. (Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The area was rattled by an estimated 1,400 earthquakes, in 24 hours, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office. Local media said the “earthquake swarm” is a continuation of a series of similar seismic activity last month.
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People’s figures are illuminated by the glowing lava on March 28, 2021 on the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland. The Mount Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted on March 19, after thousands of small earthquakes in the area over recent weeks and was reportedly the first eruption of its kind on the Reykjanes Peninsula in around 800 years. (Photo by Sophia Groves/Getty Images)
The earthquakes have caused an accumulation of magma underground at a depth of roughly 3.1 miles, AFP reported. If the magma migrates toward the surface, it could spark a volcanic eruption.
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People bathing in the Blue Lagoon’s Thermal Area. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Iceland is known as “The Land of Ice and Fire” and has witnessed at least three volcanic eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula since 2021, though all occurred in unpopulated areas, AFP reported.
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“During this time, Blue Lagoon will carefully monitor the seismic developments and reassess the situation as necessary,” the Blue Lagoon Spa added on its website.