A town in Iceland is spewing lava after being evacuated amid fears of an eruption of Mount Etna.

Sicily’s Mount Etna came alive overnight, spewing lava but causing no damage, officials said Saturday. No significant gray projections were reported.

Although the Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) raised the alert level one step from yellow to orange, operations continued as normal at Catania airport on Saturday morning.

Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe, standing at an altitude of about 3,300 meters above sea level.

Iceland: Town flees for fear of volcanic eruption

The town of Grindavik in southwestern Iceland, home to about 4,000 people, was evacuated overnight from Friday to Saturday due to fears of a volcano erupting close to homes, officials said Saturday. Civil Defense Officers.

Iceland declared a state of emergency on Friday after a series of powerful earthquakes hit the southwest of the Reykjavík peninsula, which could be a precursor to a volcanic eruption near Sundjunkaggar, about three kilometers north of Grindavik.

Iceland’s weather service initially said the eruption could be “a few hours away” after observing that magma had formed five kilometers below the Earth’s surface.

But late Friday, weather services observed that seismic activity was moving closer to the surface and magma was beginning to rise vertically toward the Earth’s crust between Sundjukagigar and Grindavik, suggesting an eruption could soon occur.

Officials decided to evacuate Grindavik after weather services said “a magma intrusion may have spread beneath Grindavik”.

Three eruptions occurred in March 2021, August 2022 and July 2023 near Fakradalsfjall on the Reykjavík peninsula. However, all three explosions occurred far from any infrastructure or populated areas. Grindavik, 40 kilometers southwest of the capital Reykjavik, is close to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a popular tourist destination that was temporarily closed earlier this week as a precaution.

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The town is close to the Schwarzenegger geothermal power plant, which is the main supplier of electricity and water for the 30,000 inhabitants of the Reykjavík peninsula.

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