A volcano system in southwestern Iceland erupted on Thursday, for the third time since December, with fountains of bright orange lava visible from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, about 30 miles away.
The eruption occurred at 6 a.m., according to the country’s Meteorological Office, on a mountain ridge on the Reykjanes Peninsula, where a significant share of Iceland’s population of about 375,000 lives, although they did not appear to be at risk.
Iceland’s civil defense agency said the nearby Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa that is a popular tourist destination, had been evacuated on Thursday morning.
Grindavik, a small fishing town of 3,800 that is the closest population center to the volcano, was evacuated before the volcano last erupted in January and destroyed part of the town. It remains empty.
Video taken from a Coast Guard helicopter showed a fissure estimated to be nearly two miles wide, with tall fountains of lava.
Volcanic eruptions are not uncommon in Iceland, but the volcanoes on the Reykjanes Peninsula had been dormant for about 800 years until 2021, and there have been several eruptions since.