An entire town has been evacuated in Iceland after a volcano suddenly erupted and began spewing lava just half a mile from occupied buildings.
Residents of Grindavik were once again told to leave their homes and flee to safety just weeks after they were allowed to return to their homes following another major eruption.
According to the reports, a volcano located 25 miles from the capital of Reykjavik erupted just under half a mile from the town, sending curtains of ash and smoke into the sky.
The original fissure grew several times in size and began spewing hot lava that encroached on nearby areas and quickly closed in on the nearby settlement.
As of right now, the crack in the ground is already over 3,280 feet long, with geologist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson saying they are not sure when it will stop growing.
Fortunately, no lives are in danger as the authorities acted swiftly to suppress the blazing lava and evacuate 3,800 out of 4,000 residents, Iceland’s president Gudni Johannesson confirmed.
“We ask people not to go to the eruption on foot. It is extremely cold outside and the walk is long and the ground is unstable in terms of cracks and other things,” the police urged the countrymen in a statement.
“In addition, all responders are busy and do not have the manpower to pick up people who leave on foot. The area is dangerous in terms of fissures, gas and more.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said it was frightening to see the incident unfold so close to the populated town.
“It is, of course, frightening to see how close this is to the town. The Civil Defense has of course been very keen to observe from day to day,” she said.
“Once again, I want to say that it was the right decision to evacuate tonight, even though we expected it wouldn’t happen until tomorrow. Of course, we have all eyes on this area to ensure the safety of the residents. However, it is quite clear that this is a huge burden for the townspeople. Naturally, the pressure is starting to take its toll on people.
“As the situation is now, we are seeing that the lava is flowing towards Grindavík. The ramparts, however, may be useful even if the southern part of the fissure extends into them. We are monitoring the situation from minute to minute.”
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