Iceland Volcano Erupts After Weeks of Seismic Activity

Iceland Volcano Erupts After Weeks of Seismic Activity
Image copyright: Micah Garen/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Molten lava burst from the ground and lit up Iceland's skies after a volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula in the country's southwest erupted late on Monday.

  • The eruption has come after weeks of intense seismic activity near the fishing village of Grindavik, which was hit by a "seismic swarm" of over 1K small earthquakes in a span of 24 hours last month. This led to evacuation orders in November that were partially eased in recent weeks.

The Spin

Narrative A

This event is a spectacular show of the earth's powers. Iceland, known as the land of fire and ice, sits on a volcanic hotspot in the North Atlantic, making it one of the world's best places to observe the phenomenon. Tourists, scientists, and volcano watchers will no doubt find it hard to stay away — especially as there are currently no threats to people or infrastructure.

Narrative B

While the volcano doesn't presently pose a risk to life — in part because of the government's pre-emptive and well-planned evacuation orders — there's no indication of how long the lava will flow. It's also unknown if this rapidly changing situation will deteriorate. This isn't a tourist attraction and emergency officials are absolutely correct to express caution about potential dangers in the future.

Metaculus Prediction

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