The residents of Grindavik might never return when a volcano spews lava into the town

The tenacious inhabitants of Grindavik have endured the unrelenting power of nature over the last few weeks and months, demonstrating once more why Iceland is frequently referred to as the “Land of Fire and Ice.” Molten lava gushed through two fissures caused by the Svartsengi volcanic system this month, destroying three homes in this settlement on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland. Grindavik, formerly a bustling fishing community with active sports teams and a young populace, is now deserted. After leaving, its residents started to accept the possibility that they wouldn’t be able to return.


One woman expressed her hope for her home to have been devoured, as their future is so uncertain. The peninsula, which is about the size of the West Midlands in the United Kingdom, has seen five volcanic eruptions in the last three years. Amidst a concerning frequency of earthquakes and concerns about possible magma beneath the town, Icelandic authorities issued an order on November 10th, directing the evacuation of Grindavik, which had about 3,800 inhabitants. It became evident over the next few days that multiple residences had been totally destroyed by the earthquake activity. As the frequency of the earthquakes decreased, the locals planned to go back home, but a powerful eruption that lasted three days started in the neighboring Sundhnuks crater series in mid-December.


I drove home three hours after the eruption started, having personally witnessed it. As I drove towards my town, Reykjanesbaer, from the capital, Reykjavik, to Keflavik airport, I noticed a fissure that was nearly 4 km long and spouting molten lava. I had the impression that I was watching the gates of hell open. The eruption occurred roughly 3 km (1.85 miles) distant, therefore Grindavik was fortunately spared for the time being. However, as other fissures were found in the town, authorities had to close them and start fixing the damaged infrastructure.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.