Volcano erupts for fifth time in six months in Iceland's Reykjanes peninsula

A new volcano erupted on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday, spewing fountains of red-hot lava into the air shortly after authorities evacuated the nearby town of Grindavik.

A large white cloud of smoke could be seen billowing up against the blue sky, with orange lava fountains bubbling out of a crack in the ground near Sundhnukagigar, north of Grindavik.

The eruption was the fifth in six months on the Reykjanes peninsula.

Two hours after the start of the eruption, lava was flowing less than a kilometre from a defensive barrier protecting the fishing village of Grindavik, the barrier itself located about another kilometre from the northern tip of the town.

Most of the 4,000 residents had evacuated Grindavik in November, prior to a December eruption.

Lava flowed into the town's streets during another eruption in January, engulfing three homes.

Read moreHouses catch fire as volcano erupts in southwestern Iceland

While the large share of those who were in the town on Wednesday -- for work or visits -- left immediately, a few die-hard residents refused to leave, the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said on its Facebook page.

"Despite recommendations from response teams to leave the town, three residents remain in Grindavik. Such actions are not advisable," it said.

"It was a total surprise."

(AFP)


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