Icelandic Volcano Dormant For 6,000 Years Blows Near Reykjavik

Eruption 20 miles from capital not currently considered a threat because it's in an isolated valley.

A volcano in southwest Iceland dormant for 6,000 years spectacularly erupted not far from the capital of Reykjavik. The eruption, however, was considered relatively small — at this stage — and not a threat currently to neighboring towns.

The eruption of the Fagradals Mountain volcano on Reykjanes Peninsula was captured on a web camera and confirmed by the Icelandic Meteorological Office. Video on its Facebook page showed lava moving at a “slow pace,” according to officials.

The fissure spewing flames, smoke and lava is estimated to be 1,600 feet long. Lava “fountains” were spurting as high at 110 yards. Its glow could be seen in Reykjavik, about 20 miles away.

Officials said no evacuations were planned because the volcano is in an isolated valley.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said Iceland officials were closely monitoring the volcano.

“As of now it is not considered a threat to surrounding towns,” she tweeted. “We ask people to keep away from the immediate area and stay safe.”

Iceland’s emergency management agency also warned people to stay away. It urged Icelanders to stay indoors with windows closed due to volcano gases. The air was being monitored for toxins. The Meteorological Center sent a helicopter carrying scientists to observe the eruption.

The nation has been rattled by more than 40,000 small earthquakes in the last four weeks. Just 1,000 to 3,000 had been registered each year since 2014.