Iceland volcano eruption

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The town of Grindavik, located on the southwestern coast of Iceland, has been evacuated due to the imminent threat of a volcanic eruption. This follows a series of earthquakes caused by magma shifting under the Earth's crust, which experts believe is a precursor to an eruption. The town is situated near the Svartsengi geothermal plant, which supplies electricity and water to 30,000 residents on the Reykjanes Peninsula, and the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa resort, a popular tourist destination that has been closed as a precaution. The magma is currently at a very shallow depth, and an eruption is expected within a few hours to a couple of days. The most likely scenario would be a fissure opening in the ground near Grindavik. However, an eruption on the ocean floor, which could cause a large ash cloud, has not been ruled out. The Reykjanes peninsula, where Grindavik is located, has seen three eruptions in recent years near the Fagradalsfjall volcano, in March 2021, August 2022, and July 2023. These eruptions have fractured the Earth's crust, facilitating the faster movement of magmatic fluids. The frequency of eruptions in Iceland has increased since 2021, with an eruption occurring roughly every 12 months. Iceland, which straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a crack in the ocean floor separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, has 33 active volcanic systems. A massive eruption in April 2010 at the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in the south of the island resulted in the cancellation of around 100,000 flights, stranding more than 10 million travelers. The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) has stated that there is a "significant likelihood" of a volcanic eruption in the coming days. Land deformation has slowed down in connection with a magma tunnel, or dike, that formed recently, suggesting that magma is moving closer to the surface. As of Saturday, the IMO estimated that magma was about 2,625 feet, or less than a half-mile, beneath the surface. The exact location of a likely eruption is unknown, but the IMO suggests that magma could emerge from its southern location, which lies just outside Grindavik. The town's residents could be allowed to return home briefly to monitor for signs of an eruption and to take care of their pets and livestock, many of which were left behind during the evacuation.
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