Long dormant volcano comes to life in southwestern Iceland

Long dormant volcano comes to life in southwestern Iceland

A long dormant volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland has flared to life, spilling lava down two sides in that region's first volcanic eruption in almost 800 years

REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- A long dormant volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland flared to life Friday night, spilling lava two sides in that area's initial volcanic eruption in nearly 800 decades.

Initial aerial footage, posted on the Facebook page of the Icelandic Meteorological Office, showed a relatively small eruption so far, together with two streams of lava running in opposite directions. The glow from the lava could be seen in the outskirts of Iceland's capital, Reykjavík, which is approximately 32 kilometers (20 miles) away.

The Department of Emergency Management said it was not anticipating evacuations since the volcano is at a distant valley, about 2.5 km (1.5 miles) from the closest road.

The Fagradals Mountain volcano had been dormant for 6,000 decades, and the Reykjanes Peninsula hadn't seen an eruption of any volcano in 781 years.

There had been signs of a potential eruption recently, with earthquakes occurring daily for the past 3 weeks. However, volcanologists were still taken by surprise since the seismic activity had calmed down prior to the eruption.

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