After rare Iceland volcano eruption, people rush to catch a glimpse

Spring began with a bang in southwestern Iceland when a volcano erupted this weekend, after nearly 800 years of dormancy.

The flowing lava, hot terrain and mystic cloud cover have attracted plenty of visitors and scientists alike to the Reykjanes Peninsula.

PHOTO: Lava continues to ooze from a volcano near Reykjavik following an eruption, in Iceland, March 21, 2021.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office reported that Friday’s eruption took place about three miles inland from the coast and did not pose any serious danger to residents in the area. The office said that earthquakes in the region over the last couple of weeks are what set off the eruption.

On Saturday, over 500 earthquakes were recorded. The strongest was a recorded 2.8 magnitude, according to the meteorological office.

PHOTO: Volcanic eruption in Geldingadalur in Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland, March 20, 2021.

Crowds began to gather throughout the weekend to see the lava flows from a safe distance, take pictures and, in one case, capture drone video of the lava and terrain. One man also cooked and ate hot dogs off the hot terrain near the eruption.

While the Icelandic Meteorological Office warned visitors about the potentially hazardous conditions near the site, it linked to a guide from the Icelandic Travel Association with tips about hiking and viewing the eruption.

PHOTO: Hikers look at the lava flowing from the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano near Reykjavik, Iceland, March 21, 2021.

Rescue teams were deployed over the weekend to aid hikers who got lost, according to the meteorological office. One person had to be hospitalized for their injuries.

The meteorological experts added that there is no current threat to air quality from the eruption and it will not affect flights, but they will monitor the situation.

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