A volcano erupts in Iceland after weeks of earthquakes.

A volcano erupts in Iceland after weeks of earthquakes.

A volcano erupts in Iceland after weeks of earthquakes. A volcanic eruption south of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is sending smoke columns across a region known for its expansive lava fields, volcanoes, and geothermal activity.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) reported that the “minor” eruption began on Monday in Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, but no ash has been released and there have been no reports of disruptions at the country’s Keflavik Airport.

On the slopes of the Litli Hrtur mountain, the IMO reported a 200-meter-long fissure “from which lava is erupting in a series of fountains.”

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Hundreds of minor earthquakes have been detected in recent weeks, prompting scientists to warn of possible eruptions.  Photos depict lava streams flowing along the dark fields, with distant fires and dense smoke billowing into the air.

Since the eruption occurred in an uninhabited area, there were no “immediate risks” to communities or infrastructure, according to the IMO; however, it advised people to avoid the area as “dangerously high levels of volcanic gases” would accumulate.

The wind will convey a portion of these gases north, potentially impacting several regions, including the capital of Iceland, according to the IMO.

On Monday, the Reykjanes Peninsula regional destination management office also issued a gas alert.

After consulting with scientists, the peninsula’s police commander ordered the closure of all trails leading to the volcano, according to a statement released by the office.

The report added that once the pollution subsides, authorities will work to restore access to the volcano.

The management office issued a caution to hikers in the region a few days ago, observing that the recent seismic activity resembled that preceding another volcanic eruption last year.

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