Lava flows from the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano some 40 km west of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, on March 21, 2021
Lava flows from the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano some 40 km west of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, on March 21, 2021
Photo: AFP

Roiling lava-filled red-rimmed roads, ashy charred-looking mountains and a desolate landscape. While one's mind immediately goes to the plot of fantasy fiction novels, this can also be used to describe the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland. At the end of last week, Iceland reported an eruption on the southwest Reykjanes Peninsula, close to the capital Reykjavik.

Now, drone footage that passes almost impossibly close to the fissure has gone viral. And the footage, if we do say so ourselves, is stunning. Even as the the volcano spewed lava, Bjorn Steinbekk maneuvered his drone over the fiery rocks, passing over the spewing mouth of the volcano.

It was not a massive explosion of ash and lava per se. The Icelandic Meteorological Office said that the eruption near Fagradalsfjall in Geldingadalur was relatively small. Indeed, visuals show tourists looking on at the unusual sight from nearby hills, seeming unfazed by the flowing lava. Iceland's Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management however is advising people within several miles of the volcano to close their windows and stay indoors to avoid the effects of volcanic gas in the air.

The eruption comes after weeks of increased seismic activity on the peninsula, with some 400 earthquakes detected in the region on Thursday morning alone, according to the IMO. Iceland has more than 30 active and extinct volcanoes.

The huge 1784 eruption of Laki caused a famine that killed about a quarter of Iceland's population. In April 2010, the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull resulted in a significant air traffic disruption in Europe.

(With inputs from agencies)

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