Iceland’s Famous Volcano ‘Ready to Blow’ Any Day Now, With Little Warning

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Iceland’s Famous Volcano ‘Ready to Blow’ Any Day Now, With Little Warning | © Flickr/ Jaisri Lingappa

 

University of Iceland Geophysics Professor Páll Einarsson told Icelandic news agency Visir that people should not visit the volcano, which is now a popular tourist destination, due to an increased risk of eruption.

“Hekla is a dangerous volcano,” says Einarsson. “We could be looking at a major disaster when the next eruption begins if we are not careful.”

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Iceland Is Experiencing Its Biggest Continuous Volcanic Eruption in Centuries

The last time an Icelandic volcano made headlines around the world was when the tongue-twister Eyjafjallajökull spewed tons of ash into the air in 2010, halting thousands of flights and costing airlines and passengers more than $7 billion in lost revenue.

Despite the power and global impact of that volcano’s several-week-long eruption, it barely affected Iceland, dropping only a small amount of ash near its peak, Freysteinn Sigmundsson, a geophysics and volcanology researcher at the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences told Newsweek during an interview at his office in Reykjavik at the beginning of October.

But Eyjafjallajökull is paltry compared to the recent eruption of Bardarbunga (or Bárðarbunga in Icelandic), a volcano in a remote area of central Iceland that began venting lava and fumes in earnest on August 31, Sigmundsson said. Continue reading