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Iceland volcano live: Lava flows into Grindavik as country faces ‘daunting’ time after ‘worst-case scenario’

Lava is flowing into Grindavik as Iceland’s President said the country is facing a “daunting” time after a fresh volcanic eruption.

An expert fears the “worst-case scenario” has become the reality in Iceland as lava has flowed into people’s homes for the first time, torching at least three.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office said the volcano in the southwest of the country erupted for the second time in less than a month on Sunday, suspecting the fissure had since forced itself under the town of Grindavik.

President Gudni Th Johannesson said in a televised address on Sunday that “a daunting period of upheaval has begun on the Reykjanes peninsula”, where a long-dormant volcanic system has awakened.

When asked if the worst-case scenario had happened, Benedikt Halldórsson, an expert in earthquake activity at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, told The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service: “Yes, I don’t think it’s possible to imagine anything worse than it erupting in a settlement and lava flowing onto houses.”

Geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson said on Monday morning that the eruption had “decreased considerably” overnight, but that it was impossible to say when it would end.

Nearly 4,000 residents were evacuated. No one has been killed in the eruptions, but a workman is missing after reportedly falling into a crack opened by the volcano.

Key points

  • ‘Worst-case scenario’ as new crack forms and lava flows into houses for first time

  • Volcano erupts again sparking new evacuation

  • Second eruption in less than a month

  • Multiple houses torched by lava

  • ‘Black day’ for Grindavik – Iceland PM

  • Mapped – The volcano’s fissure and seismic activity

Volcano erupts again sparking new evacuation

Sunday 14 January 2024 10:56 , Lydia Patrick

A volcano has erupted in southwest Iceland , posing an immediate threat to a nearby fishing town that had been evacuated over fears of an outbreak.

Early-morning live streams from the site showed fountains of molten rock spewing from fissures in the ground, the bright orange lava flow glowing against the dark sky.

The eruption began north of the town of Grindavik, which on Saturday was evacuated for a second time over fears that an outbreak was imminent amid a swarm of seismic activity, authorities said.

Iceland in recent weeks sought to build barriers of earth and rock to prevent lava from reaching Grindavik, but the latest eruption appeared to have penetrated the defences.

“According to the first images from the Coast Guard’s surveillance flight, a crack has opened on both sides of the defences that have begun to be built north of Grindavik,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said in a statement.

“Lava is now flowing towards Grindavik. Based on measurements from the Coast Guard’s helicopter, the perimeter is now about 450 metres (1,500 feet) from the northernmost houses in the town,” it added.

Second eruption in less than a month

Sunday 14 January 2024 10:57 , Lydia Patrick

It is the second volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland in less than one month and the fifth outbreak since 2021.

Last month, an eruption started in the Svartsengi volcanic system on Dec. 18 following the complete evacuation of Grindavik’s 4,000 residents and the closing of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a popular tourist spot.

More than 100 Grindavik residents had returned in recent weeks before Saturday’s renewed evacuation order, according to local authorities.

Iceland‘s civil protection agency on Sunday said it had raised its alert level to “emergency”, the highest on a three-level scale, signaling an event had begun that could cause harm to people, communities, property or the environment.

Lying between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, two of the largest on the planet, Iceland is a seismic and volcanic hot spot as the two plates move in opposite directions.

Iceland Eruption ((AP Photo/ Marco Di Marco))
Iceland Eruption ((AP Photo/ Marco Di Marco))

Where is the lava flowing?

Sunday 14 January 2024 11:20 , Lydia Patrick

Sadly for Grindavik residents, the lava is flowing quickly towards town.

“We’re basically just looking at the fact that there’s lava flowing on both sides of the defensive wall. There is a volcanic fissure that has opened up inside it. Lava is flowing a few hundred meters north of the town, this is 400 to 500 meters. Lava flows towards Grindavík,” Kristín Jónsdóttir from the Icelandic Meteorological Office told RUV.

According to the meteorologist the lava will take just hours to reach the town,

Iceland Eruption ((AP Photo/ Marco Di Marco))
Iceland Eruption ((AP Photo/ Marco Di Marco))

Workers rescue their machinery from the lava flow

Sunday 14 January 2024 11:40 , Lydia Patrick

Workers scrambled to rescue their machinery which was being used to build defensive walls against lava flow into Grindavik, report RUV.

Víðir Reynisson, head of Civil Defence highlighted the importance of saving the machinery to the broadcaster, saying it was needed to build other defence structures around the country.

He insisted the protection of human lives was their biggest priority and the successful mission did not endanger workers.

Resident fears the survival of his home as lava gets closer

Sunday 14 January 2024 11:50 , Lydia Patrick

Born and bred Grindavikian and father–of-two Siggeir Ævarsson, 38, shares his heartbreak as he watches the lava get closer to his home town.

The family has been living at his sister-in-law’s in Reykjavík since November when fears of an eruption first emerged forcing residents to flee.

He told The Independent: “I’m feeling quite numb at the moment, it’s so surreal.

“The electricity is out, and they're talking about shutting off the water too. So our houses might freeze before they burn up in the lava.”

Siggeir Ævarsson and his wife Soffía Sveinsdóttir (Provided)
Siggeir Ævarsson and his wife Soffía Sveinsdóttir (Provided)

Volcanologist says fissure is around1km

Sunday 14 January 2024 12:00 , Lydia Patrick

Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson told RUV: “We were able to estimate the size of the crack that grew while we flew over. It is around one kilometre long. It is very similar to the lava from the last eruption, but approx. 1/4 of the size.“If the eruption continues with a similar force, it will be several hours until lava reaches the first houses.”

Picture of the volcanic eruption in December ((AP))
Picture of the volcanic eruption in December ((AP))

Urgent plea for spectators to stay away

Sunday 14 January 2024 12:20 , Lydia Patrick

The director of Civil defence has urged sightseers to leave the area, saying their team have wasted ample time in directing people away from the danger zone.

He told the RUV: “Unfortunately, as always at the beginning of an eruption, people gather and want to go look at this, but I just think that people must realise the reality of the matter and what is going on.

“People must, please, give us a break to try to save what is possible to save.”

People watch as the night sky is illuminated caused by the eruption of a volcano in Grindavik on Iceland's Reykjanes Peninsula, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023 (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
People watch as the night sky is illuminated caused by the eruption of a volcano in Grindavik on Iceland's Reykjanes Peninsula, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023 (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Huge search for man who fell into crack that opened in Grindavik after Iceland earthquakes

Sunday 14 January 2024 12:40 , Lydia Patrick

A manhunt has been launched after a worker fell into an enormous crack created by the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in Iceland.

The missing man was working to fill in crevasses formed by earthquakes and volcanic activity in the fishing town of Grindavik when he fell on Wednesday, according to local media.

The search, involving hundreds of rescue workers, had to be called off overnight on Thursday after landslides dropped tonnes of rocks on the area.

Barney Davis has the full report

Huge search for man who fell into crack opened in Grindavik after Iceland earthquakes

Should I still travel to Iceland?

Sunday 14 January 2024 13:00 , Lydia Patrick

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office have issued new advice amid the imminent volcanic eruption.

In a statement they said: “A volcanic eruption started on the Reykjanes peninsula in south-west Iceland on 14 January, north of the town of Grindavík.

“All roads to Grindavík are closed and you should stay away from the area. Keflavik International Airport is operating as normal, but you should check for latest updates. Reykjavik and the rest of Iceland have not been impacted. You should monitor local media for updates and follow the authorities´ advice.”

This Nov. 18, 2023 image provided by Beth Harpaz shows visitors amid mini-icebergs on Diamond Beach on Iceland's South Coast ((Beth Harpaz via AP))
This Nov. 18, 2023 image provided by Beth Harpaz shows visitors amid mini-icebergs on Diamond Beach on Iceland's South Coast ((Beth Harpaz via AP))

Mapped- The volcano’s fissure and seismic activity

Sunday 14 January 2024 13:20 , Lydia Patrick

A map showing the latest earthquake activity (The Icelandic Met Office)
A map showing the latest earthquake activity (The Icelandic Met Office)
A map showing the fissure opening marked with a red line. (The Icelandic Met Office)
A map showing the fissure opening marked with a red line. (The Icelandic Met Office)

A new fissure opens up

Sunday 14 January 2024 13:50 , Lydia Patrick

A new fissure has opened up just 50-100 metres away from the town of Grindavik, with more lava flowing towards the town.

The RUV reports the crack is 150m but it could be longer.

The evacuated Icelandic town of Grindavik (R) is seen as smoke billow and lava is thrown into the air from a fissure during a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula 3 km north of Grindavik, western Iceland on December 19, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)
The evacuated Icelandic town of Grindavik (R) is seen as smoke billow and lava is thrown into the air from a fissure during a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula 3 km north of Grindavik, western Iceland on December 19, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

The lava has reached settlements

Sunday 14 January 2024 14:06 , Lydia Patrick

Lava has reached the first home as live webcams broadcast the eruption.

RUV report the house belongs to a young couple who had not yet moved into the home.

Some good news

Sunday 14 January 2024 15:26 , Lydia Patrick

Defensive walls have worked to keep most the lava flow away from the town.

Benedikt Halldórsson, specialist in earthquake hazards at the Met Office informed the RUV that most of the lava flow was diverted towards Grindavíkurvegur and away from the town/“I think this is a splendid example,” Benedikt told the news outlet.

Iceland Eruption ((AP Photo/ Marco Di Marco))
Iceland Eruption ((AP Photo/ Marco Di Marco))

Atleast two homes burnt by lava

Sunday 14 January 2024 16:00 , Lydia Patrick

A shocked video shared by Iceland’s official state broadcaster shows two homes ravaged by a lava flow which is sliding towards the town.

Lava burns everything in its path, and will cause the walls of homes to give way, a Met Office spokesperson told the RUV.

Watch - Iceland’s volcano eruption seen from plane window in passenger footage

Sunday 14 January 2024 16:30 , Lydia Patrick

Iceland’s volcano eruption seen from plane window in passenger footage

Sheep trapped in town

Sunday 14 January 2024 17:00 , Lydia Patrick

30 sheep are trapped as the lava hits Grindavik, raising animal welfare concerns.

Linda Karen Gunnarsdóttir chairperson of Iceland’s Animal Protection Association voiced her fears to RUV, saying many people had returned their animals to Grindavik after the first evacuation in November.

There are sheep trapped in atleast five properties and some pets are believed to still be in the lava threatened town.

She told the state broadcaster:

“It is extremely serious that animals have entered the town again. Of course they weren’t supposed to be there, but people started coming back into the town and started going about their normal lives.“Animal owners have subsequently decided to bring their animals into the town and there are even reportedly pets there too, but we have yet to confirm that.”

Scientist of the University of Iceland take measurements and samples standing on the ridge in front of the active part of the eruptive fissure of an active volcano in Grindavik (AP)
Scientist of the University of Iceland take measurements and samples standing on the ridge in front of the active part of the eruptive fissure of an active volcano in Grindavik (AP)

Watch: Homes in Iceland’s Grindavik go up in flames as volcano’s lava reaches town

Sunday 14 January 2024 17:30 , Matt Mathers

Homes in Iceland’s Grindavik go up in flames as volcano’s lava reaches town

British couple ‘alarmed’ but ‘excited’ to see erupting volcano

Sunday 14 January 2024 18:37 , Matt Mathers

A British couple on holiday in Iceland said it was "alarming" to see a volcano erupting in the southwest of the country as they travelled to the airport on Sunday.

Lorraine Crawford, 67, and her 70-year-old husband John, from Essex, took a trip to Reykjavik on Thursday along with Mr Crawford’s cousin, Michael Daltrey, and his wife, Faye.

The group were in a taxi on their way to Keflavik International Airport on Sunday morning to return to the UK when Ms Crawford said they saw the erupting volcano in the distance and initially thought it was a fire.

"It’s alarming in a way - it’s quite exciting to see something like that but then you realise that this could do quite a lot of damage," Ms Crawford, who runs a travel agency with her husband and their daughter, told the PA news agency.

"On the way (to the airport), we thought it was just a fire in the distance but (the taxi driver) said it was the actual volcano erupting."

She added that they had heard a "really loud noise" and a "really loud rumble" from the airport, but they were not sure what had caused it.

Lorraine and John Crawford (Lorraine Crawford/PA Wire)
Lorraine and John Crawford (Lorraine Crawford/PA Wire)

Watch live: Volcano erupts in Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula

Sunday 14 January 2024 19:30 , Matt Mathers

A volcano has erupted in the Grindavík area of south west Iceland this morning (14 January), days after residents were ordered to leave when volcanic fissures began opening on nearby roads.

The order is expected to be in place for at least three weeks which will cause a lot of disruption, particularly as Grindavík plays home to the iconic Blue Lagoon tourist attraction.

Watch it live by following this link:

Watch live: Volcano erupts in Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula

ICYMI: Huge search for man who fell into crack that opened in Grindavik after Iceland earthquakes

Sunday 14 January 2024 20:30 , Matt Mathers

A manhunt has been launched after a worker fell into an enormous crack created by the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in Iceland.

The missing man was working to fill in crevasses formed by earthquakes and volcanic activity in the fishing town of Grindavik when he fell on Wednesday, according to local media.

Barney Davis reports:

Huge search for man who fell into crack opened in Grindavik after Iceland earthquakes

‘Black day' for Grindavik - Iceland PM

Sunday 14 January 2024 21:12 , Matt Mathers

It has been a “black day” for the town of Grindavik, Iceland’s prime minister has said after lava from a volcanic eruption hit the small fishing town.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir also called for calm as the town was evacuated.

She said: “Today is a black day for Grindavík and today is a black day for all of Iceland, but the sun will rise again.

“Together we will deal with this shock and whatever may come. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Multipe houses set on fire in Grindavik

Sunday 14 January 2024 21:14 , Matt Mathers

Multiple houses have been set on fire in Grindavik after lava flowed into the town.

The fishing town has been evacuated and officials are concerned about the fate of farm animals that were not able to be removed.

Víðir Reynisson, head of Civil Defence, has told Iceland media that “no one is going into Grindavík until we are absolutely sure that it will be OK”.

‘Black day’ for Grindavik as lava hits fishing town

Sunday 14 January 2024 21:30 , Matt Mathers

It has been a “black day” for the town of Grindavik, Iceland’s prime minister has said after lava from a volcanic eruption hit the small fishing town.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir also called for calm as the town was evacuated. She said: “Today is a black day for Grindavík and today is a black day for all of Iceland, but the sun will rise again.

“Together we will deal with this shock and whatever may come. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Mapped- The volcano’s fissure and seismic activity

Sunday 14 January 2024 22:30 , Matt Mathers

A map showing the fissure opening marked with a red line. (The Icelandic Met Office)
A map showing the fissure opening marked with a red line. (The Icelandic Met Office)
 (The Icelandic Met Office)
(The Icelandic Met Office)

ICYM: Volcano erupts again sparking new evacuation

Sunday 14 January 2024 23:30 , Matt Mathers

A volcano has erupted in southwest Iceland , posing an immediate threat to a nearby fishing town that had been evacuated over fears of an outbreak.

Early-morning live streams from the site showed fountains of molten rock spewing from fissures in the ground, the bright orange lava flow glowing against the dark sky.

The eruption began north of the town of Grindavik, which on Saturday was evacuated for a second time over fears that an outbreak was imminent amid a swarm of seismic activity, authorities said.

Iceland in recent weeks sought to build barriers of earth and rock to prevent lava from reaching Grindavik, but the latest eruption appeared to have penetrated the defences.

“According to the first images from the Coast Guard’s surveillance flight, a crack has opened on both sides of the defences that have begun to be built north of Grindavik,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said in a statement.

“Lava is now flowing towards Grindavik. Based on measurements from the Coast Guard’s helicopter, the perimeter is now about 450 metres (1,500 feet) from the northernmost houses in the town,” it added.

 (X)
(X)

ICYMI: Second eruption in less than a month

01:00 , Matt Mathers

It is the second volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland in less than one month and the fifth outbreak since 2021.

Last month, an eruption started in the Svartsengi volcanic system on Dec. 18 following the complete evacuation of Grindavik’s 4,000 residents and the closing of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a popular tourist spot.

More than 100 Grindavik residents had returned in recent weeks before Saturday’s renewed evacuation order, according to local authorities.

Iceland‘s civil protection agency on Sunday said it had raised its alert level to “emergency”, the highest on a three-level scale, signaling an event had begun that could cause harm to people, communities, property or the environment.

Lying between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, two of the largest on the planet, Iceland is a seismic and volcanic hot spot as the two plates move in opposite directions.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

ICYMI: Where is the lava flowing?

02:00 , Matt Mathers

Sadly for Grindavik residents, the lava is flowing quickly towards town.

“We’re basically just looking at the fact that there’s lava flowing on both sides of the defensive wall. There is a volcanic fissure that has opened up inside it. Lava is flowing a few hundred meters north of the town, this is 400 to 500 meters. Lava flows towards Grindavík,” Kristín Jónsdóttir from the Icelandic Meteorological Office told RUV.

According to the meteorologist the lava will take just hours to reach the town.

Buildings in Iceland's Grindavik go up in flames as volcano's lava reaches town (Reuters)
Buildings in Iceland's Grindavik go up in flames as volcano's lava reaches town (Reuters)

ICYMI: Workers rescue their machinery from the lava flow

03:00 , Matt Mathers

Workers scrambled to rescue their machinery which was being used to build defensive walls against lava flow into Grindavik, report RUV.

Víðir Reynisson, head of Civil Defence highlighted the importance of saving the machinery to the broadcaster, saying it was needed to build other defence structures around the country.

He insisted the protection of human lives was their biggest priority and the successful mission did not endanger workers.

No flight interruptions due to volcano, says president

03:20 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

President Gudni Johannesson announced flights scheduled to fly in and out of Iceland won’t be affected due to the fresh volcanic eruption near the town of Grindavik.

“No lives are in danger, although infrastructure may be under threat,” he said on social media X, formerly known as Twitter.

“There’s no way to tell” how much destruction the fishing town might face, which would depend on the duration of the eruption, said Benedikt Ofeigsson, a geophysicist at the Meteorological Office.

The eruption began early on Sunday north of the town, which just hours before had been evacuated for the second time since November over fears that an outbreak was imminent amid a swarm of seismic activity.

Eruption in pictures

04:00 , Matt Mathers

A man adjusts his photographic equipment near Keflavik (AFP via Getty Images)
A man adjusts his photographic equipment near Keflavik (AFP via Getty Images)
Aerial view taken on January 14, 2024 shows flowing lava close to a road leading to the southwestern Icelandic town of Grindavik (AFP via Getty Images)
Aerial view taken on January 14, 2024 shows flowing lava close to a road leading to the southwestern Icelandic town of Grindavik (AFP via Getty Images)
Lava dances around Iceland volcano as it erupts (Reuters)
Lava dances around Iceland volcano as it erupts (Reuters)
A view of the plume of gas lighted up by the lava from the erupting volcano seen from Suðurstrandavegur
A view of the plume of gas lighted up by the lava from the erupting volcano seen from Suðurstrandavegur

Blue Lagoon extends closure till Tuesday

04:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, one of Iceland’s biggest tourist attractions, extended its closure till 16 January due to the nearby volcanic eruption.

“The current eruption site is at a safe distance from Blue Lagoon,” a note on the spa’s website reads.

“All guests with bookings during this temporary closure period will be contacted.”

Services at the Blue Lagoon have been temporarily unavailable since November, when the fishing town of Grindavik was initially evacuated following intense seismic activity.

Defence wall protected Grindavik from lava, says met office

04:51 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Much of the lava flow from the volcano eruption was diverted from Grindavik due to the protective barrier dams built around the town, the Icelandic Met Office said.

Since November, defensive walls had been placed around the volcano in hopes of directing the magma away from the community.

But the walls of the barriers built north of Grindavik have been breached by the lava, which engulfed at least three houses.

“This continues to surprise us,” said Benedikt Ofeigsson, a geophysicist at the Meteorological Office.

ICYMI: British couple ‘alarmed’ but ‘excited’ to see erupting volcano

05:00 , Matt Mathers

A British couple on holiday in Iceland said it was “alarming” to see a volcano erupting in the southwest of the country as they travelled to the airport on Sunday.

Lorraine Crawford, 67, and her 70-year-old husband John, from Essex, took a trip to Reykjavik on Thursday along with Mr Crawford’s cousin, Michael Daltrey, and his wife, Faye.

The group were in a taxi on their way to Keflavik International Airport on Sunday morning to return to the UK when Ms Crawford said they saw the erupting volcano in the distance and initially thought it was a fire.

“It’s alarming in a way - it’s quite exciting to see something like that but then you realise that this could do quite a lot of damage,” Ms Crawford, who runs a travel agency with her husband and their daughter, told the PA news agency.

“On the way (to the airport), we thought it was just a fire in the distance but (the taxi driver) said it was the actual volcano erupting.”

She added that they had heard a “really loud noise” and a “really loud rumble” from the airport, but they were not sure what had caused it.

Lorraine and John Crawford (Lorraine Crawford/PA Wire)
Lorraine and John Crawford (Lorraine Crawford/PA Wire)

At least three houses engulfed by lava

05:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

At least three houses in the fishing village of Grindavik were destroyed in lava, authorities said, adding that the eruption in the fissure has largely subsided.

“It seems to us that it has almost stopped, the lava flow by these houses,” says Böðvar Sveinsson, a natural disaster expert at the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

The eruption took place on Sunday north of the town following a series of earthquakes near the town of Grindavik.

The community of nearly 4000 people was evacuated overnight, Iceland’s RUV television reported.

ICYMI: Watch: Homes in Iceland’s Grindavik go up in flames as volcano’s lava reaches town

06:00 , Matt Mathers

Homes in Iceland’s Grindavik go up in flames as volcano’s lava reaches town

Iceland’s volcano eruption seen from plane window in passenger footage

06:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A passenger on a plane heading over Iceland has shared footage of the view of Grindavik’s volcano eruption from the sky.

In the footage, lava can be seen spilling down the volcano, which has since reached the evacuated town, and sent several homes up in flames.

More here.

Iceland’s volcano eruption seen from plane window in passenger footage

Watch live: Volcano erupts in Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula

07:00 , Matt Mathers

A volcano has erupted in the Grindavík area of south west Iceland this morning (14 January), days after residents were ordered to leave when volcanic fissures began opening on nearby roads.

The order is expected to be in place for at least three weeks which will cause a lot of disruption, particularly as Grindavík plays home to the iconic Blue Lagoon tourist attraction.

Watch it live by following this link:

Watch live: Volcano erupts in Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula

In Pics: Houses destroyed in Grindavik

07:30 , Liam James

Volcano spews lava on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Volcano spews lava on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Eruption starts again just north of Grindavik (Micah Garen/Getty Images)
Eruption starts again just north of Grindavik (Micah Garen/Getty Images)
Volcano spews lava on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Volcano spews lava on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula (Anadolu via Getty Images)

‘Worst-case scenario’ as new crack forms and lava flows into houses for first time

08:08 , Tara Cobham

An expert fears the “worst-case scenario” has become the reality in Iceland as lava has flowed into people’s homes for the first time after a new crack formed.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office said the volcano in the southwest of the country erupted for the second time in less than a month on Sunday, suspecting the fissure had since forced itself under the town of Grindavik.

A new crack later formed, said the forecaster, with lava flowing into the fishing town and torching at least three homes.

When asked if the worst-case scenario had happened, Benedikt Halldórsson, an expert in earthquake activity at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, told The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service: “Yes, I don’t think it’s possible to imagine anything worse than it erupting in a settlement and lava flowing onto houses.”

Watch live: Iceland volcano erupts as lava reaches Grindavik town

09:00 , Tara Cobham

Watch live as a volcano in Iceland continues to erupt on Monday, 15 January, after lava reached the town of Grindavik yesterday.

Much of the fishing town has been protected by defensive walls which were built during intense seismic activities last year, but at least three homes have been engulfed due to lava breaching barriers north of the town, officials said.

Almost 4,000 residents have been evacuated, although some farm animals were not able to be moved.

Sophie Thompson and Holly Patrick report:

Watch live: Iceland volcano erupts as lava reaches Grindavik town

Is it safe to travel to Iceland after volcanic eruption?

09:45 , Tara Cobham

The earth is at its most restless in Iceland right now. Since November 2023 the Icelandic authorities have been monitoring seismic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik.

At least three homes have been set alight after lava from a volcanic eruption hit the fishing town of Grindavik. Much of the town was protected by defensive walls which were built at the onset of intense seismic activities in November.

The 4,000 inhabitants have been evacuated as a precaution.

Simon Calder, Travel Correspondent reports:

Is it safe to travel to Iceland after volcanic eruption?

Workman missing after reportedly falling into crack opened by volcano

10:30 , Tara Cobham

A workman is missing after reportedly falling into a crack opened by the volcano.

However, no one has been killed in the eruptions so far.

Iceland’s President says country faces ‘daunting’ period

11:15 , Tara Cobham

Iceland's President said the country is battling "tremendous forces of nature" after molten lava from a volcano in the island's southwest consumed several houses in the evacuated town of Grindavik.

President Gudni Th Johannesson said in a televised address on Sunday that "a daunting period of upheaval has begun on the Reykjanes peninsula", where a long-dormant volcanic system has awakened.

The President said: “We don’t yet know how this eruption will unfold, but we must still take those actions that are within our power.

“We continue to hope for as good an outcome as possible, in the face of these tremendous forces of nature.

“We will carry on with our responsibilities and we will continue to stand together.”

Lava during a volcanic eruption near Grindavík, Iceland, on Sunday (AP)
Lava during a volcanic eruption near Grindavík, Iceland, on Sunday (AP)

Iceland is battling ‘tremendous forces of nature’, says country’s President

12:00 , Tara Cobham

Iceland’s president said the country is battling “tremendous forces of nature,” after molten lava from a volcano in the island’s southwest consumed several houses in the evacuated town of Grindavik.

President Gudni Th. Johannesson said in a televised address late Sunday that “a daunting period of upheaval has begun on the Reykjanes peninsula,” where a long-dormant volcanic system has awakened.

A volcano on the peninsula erupted for the second time in less than a month on Sunday morning. Authorities had ordered residents to leave the fishing town of Grindavik hours earlier as a swarm of small earthquakes indicated an imminent eruption.

Read more here:

President says Iceland faces 'daunting' period after lava from volcano destroys homes in Grindavik

Impossible to say when eruption will end, warns geophysicist

12:45 , Tara Cobham

A geophysicist has warned it is impossible to say when the volcanic eruption in Iceland will end.

However, Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson added on Monday morning that the eruption had "decreased considerably" overnight.

People watch from the north as the volcano erupts near Grindavík, Iceland, on Sunday (AP Photo/ Marco Di Marco)
People watch from the north as the volcano erupts near Grindavík, Iceland, on Sunday (AP Photo/ Marco Di Marco)

Workman missing after reportedly falling in volcanic crack is named and pictured

13:00 , Tara Cobham

A workman who is missing after reportedly falling into a crack opened by the volcano has been named.

Father-of-four Lúðvík Pétursson, 50, was working to fill in crevasses formed by earthquakes and volcanic activity in the fishing town of Grindavik when he fell on Wednesday, according to local media.

A manhunt that was subsequently launched, involving hundreds of rescue workers, had to be called off overnight on Thursday after landslides dropped tonnes of rocks on the area.

Icelandic Police said the grandfather-of-two’s relatives and fiancee would like to thank all responders for their assistance in the search for him.

Father-of-four Lúðvík Pétursson, 50, was working to fill in crevasses formed by earthquakes and volcanic activity in the fishing town of Grindavik when he fell on Wednesday, according to local media (Icelandic Police)
Father-of-four Lúðvík Pétursson, 50, was working to fill in crevasses formed by earthquakes and volcanic activity in the fishing town of Grindavik when he fell on Wednesday, according to local media (Icelandic Police)

Volcano last erupted less than a month ago

13:45 , Tara Cobham

The volcano last erupted less than a month ago, forcing another evacuation of the town of Grindavik in preparation.

The town of Grindavik was previously evacuated in November when the Svartsengi volcanic system awakened after almost 800 years.

The volcano eventually erupted on 18 December, sending lava flowing away from Grindavik, a town of 3,800 people about 30 miles south-west of the capital, Reykjavik.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes on 22 December.

Since then, emergency workers have been building defensive walls that have stopped much of the lava flow from the new eruption short of the town.

An Icelandic Coast Guard helicopter overflying a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula, 3km north of Grindavik, western Iceland on 19 December (HANDOUT/AFP via Getty Images)
An Icelandic Coast Guard helicopter overflying a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula, 3km north of Grindavik, western Iceland on 19 December (HANDOUT/AFP via Getty Images)

House burns down as lava river surrounds building in aerial footage

14:30 , Tara Cobham

Aerial footage showed lava flows setting houses on fire in Grindavik, Iceland on Sunday (14 January) after a volcano erupted.

Footage recorded by Björn Steinbekk showed a river of lava surrounding buildings in the fishing village, which has been evacuated.

Mr Steinbekk said he posted his footage online to show “the dark side of volcanos.”

“Almost 4000 people are suffering right now; some have been watching their houses burn during live feeds and on YouTube,” he added.

It is the second eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in four weeks and the fifth since 2021.

Holly Patrick reports:

Iceland eruption: House burns down as lava river surrounds building in aerial footage

Calls to rescue 240 sheep locked in shelters in Grindavik

15:15 , Tara Cobham

Calls are being made to rescue up to 240 sheep that are locked in shelters in Grindavik.

Þorvaldur H. Þórðarson, the chief veterinarian at the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), has said the animals are locked in the town, as lava flows into houses there.

MAST representatives have called for the South-East Iceland Civil Protection Committee to grant owners permission to bring their animals to safety.

“We have pointed out the need for this and have done what we can to push this through. It seems to us that this is between 220 and 240 sheep,” Þórðarson told mbl.is. “We are waiting for this to be addressed.”

Latest eruption not expected to release lots of ash as airport operations continue

16:00 , Tara Cobham

The latest eruption in Iceland is not expected to release large amounts of ash into the air.

Operations at Keflavík Airport are continuing as normal, said Gudjon Helgason, spokesperson for airport operator Isavia.

Iceland, which sits above a volcanic hot spot in the North Atlantic, averages one eruption every four to five years.

The most disruptive in recent times was the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which spewed clouds of ash into the atmosphere and disrupted trans-Atlantic air travel for months.

Lava flows from a volcano in Grindavik, Iceland, on Sunday (via REUTERS)
Lava flows from a volcano in Grindavik, Iceland, on Sunday (via REUTERS)

Recap: Huge search for man who fell into crack that opened in Grindavik

17:00 , Tara Cobham

A manhunt has been launched after a worker fell into an enormous crack created by the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in Iceland.

The missing man was working to fill in crevasses formed by earthquakes and volcanic activity in the fishing town of Grindavik when he fell on Wednesday, according to local media.

The search, involving hundreds of rescue workers, had to be called off overnight on Thursday after landslides dropped tonnes of rocks on the area.

Barney Davis reports:

Huge search for man who fell into crack opened in Grindavik after Iceland earthquakes

Is it safe to travel to Iceland after volcanic eruption?

18:00 , Tara Cobham

The earth is at its most restless in Iceland right now. Since November 2023 the Icelandic authorities have been monitoring seismic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik.

At least three homes have been set alight after lava from a volcanic eruption hit the fishing town of Grindavik. On Sunday afternoon, the Icelandic Met Office reported: “A new eruptive fissure opened at 12.10pm this afternoon, just north of the town. Lava flows extruded from this fissure have now entered the town.”

Grindavik is largely protected by defensive walls that were built at the onset of intense seismic activities in November.

Simon Calder, Travel Correspondent reports:

Is it safe to travel to Iceland after volcanic eruption?

Watch: House burns down as lava river surrounds building

19:00 , Tara Cobham

In pictures: Iceland volcano erupts for second time in less than a month

20:00 , Tara Cobham

House burns down as lava river surrounds building (Björn Steinbekk, @bsteinbekk)
House burns down as lava river surrounds building (Björn Steinbekk, @bsteinbekk)
Lava as the volcano erupts near Grindavík, Iceland, on Sunday (Icelandic Civil Protection via AP)
Lava as the volcano erupts near Grindavík, Iceland, on Sunday (Icelandic Civil Protection via AP)
Lava from an erupting volcano in Iceland consuming a building near the town of Grindavik, Iceland, on Sunday (LIVEFROMICELAND.IS via AP)
Lava from an erupting volcano in Iceland consuming a building near the town of Grindavik, Iceland, on Sunday (LIVEFROMICELAND.IS via AP)