Volcanic activity declines sharply after latest eruption in Iceland

Copenhagen, Feb 9, (dpa/GNA) – Iceland’s third volcanic eruption in the span of two months was subsiding on Friday, with only steam now rising from the snow-covered ground where fountains of bright orange lava had spewed a day earlier.

The number of earthquakes that accompanied the eruption has also decreased significantly in the past 24 hours, authorities said.

Lava began gushing out of 3-kilometre-long fissure in the earth south-west of the capital Reykjavík on Thursday morning. The molten rock flowed around four and a half kilometres to the west, crossing a road near the famed Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.

Parts of the Reykjanes Peninsula were cut off from hot water, after the lava engulfed a supply pipeline. Emergency crews worked overnight to repair the outage. Energy supplier HS Orka said, it hoped to be able to feed hot water into the pipe later in the day.

The Blue Lagoon remained closed on Friday, according to the operators.

According to Icelandic broadcaster RÚV, a major road leading to the evacuated coastal town of Grindavík, which has been in the path of the recent eruptions, will also be impassable for the time being.

The town of around 3,700 inhabitants was evacuated in November, following a string of earthquakes that foreshadowed eruptions in December and January.