It finally happened! After three weeks of constant earthquakes the volcano finally decided to erupt. Iceland actually does not have volcanoes in the classical sense, we have fissures, meaning you can never really predict where the actual eruption will happen. This eruption is very polite. It did not happen in Þráinsskjaldarhraun, but at Fagradalsfjall to the relief of many a foreign news anchor. It is far enough away from any man made structure to not endanger anything and because it is not under a glacier there is only little ash.
The rescue squad still had their hands full this weekend as Icelanders were hiking to the volcano en mass. You would think that Icelanders know how to behave around volcanoes and how to prepare for a 4 hour long hike in Icelandic winter, but during the last pretty eruption at Fimmvörðurháls people died of exposure trying to visit the volcano.
This eruption is similar in more ways than accessibility. Just like Fimmvörðurháls it happened in spring after a crisis, when the nation needed a distraction and the tourist industry needed a push. Just more evidence to my theory that the volcanoes are controlled by a series of levers under parliament.
Here are some predictions from the Icelandic met office what will happen next (basically anything):
- The eruption will decrease gradually and end in the coming days or weeks.
- New volcanic fissures could open at the eruption site or along the magma dike near to Mt. Fagradalsfjall.
- The likelihood of a large earthquake close to Mt. Fagradalsfjall has reduced due to the ongoing volcanic activity.
- An earthquake up to magnitude 6.5 could be triggered in the Brennisteinsfjöll volcanic system, located east of Mt. Fagradalsfjall.
The eruption side is behind the mountain range you can see from my window, so I cannot actually see it.