Activity from the volcano that erupted in southwestern Iceland appears to have calmed down, the Ministry of Civil Protection said on Monday, after lava set fire to three houses in the fishing village of Grindavik on Sunday.

The volcano became active on Sunday and is the fifth eruption in Iceland in almost three years. The previous one took place on December 18 in the same area.

“The night passed without incident,” Hjördis Gudmunsdóttir, spokesperson for Iceland’s Civil Protection Department, told public broadcaster RUV.

“The good news is that there appears to be less flow,” he added, specifying that the magma coming out of a second, smaller crack “seems to have stopped.”

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which separates the Eurasian Plate from the North American Plate, runs through all of Iceland. Photo: REUTERS

The volcano erupted near Grindavik on Sunday morning, opening two fissures, one of which was very close to an inhabited area, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said.

The lava flow reached the fishing village and set three vacant houses on fire.

Grindavik’s nearly 4,000 residents were evacuated in the early hours of Sunday, a few weeks after returning to their homes after authorities ordered a population relocation on November 11 due to hundreds of earthquakes.

This seismic activity was caused by the movement of magma beneath the Earth’s crust, an indication of an impending eruption.

Iceland lies between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. and it is one of the most active volcanic areas on Earth, with 33 volcanoes or volcanic systems classified as active. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, it has approximately 370,000 inhabitants and an area of ​​more than 100,000 square kilometers. (JO)