Volcanic Eruption in Iceland Likely; Flight Disruptions Unlikely

The town of Grindavík, which is about an hour south of the Iceland capital on the Reykjanes Peninsula, was evacuated over the weekend due to the increasing possibility of a volcanic eruption. According to Visit Iceland, “The heightened intensity of these seismic events, particularly near the town of Grindavík, is seen as a significant indicator of potential volcanic activity in the area. As a precautionary measure, the town was evacuated on November 10 to prioritize the safety of its residents. Evacuations will remain in order until seismic activity subsides.”

That said, while tourism body adds it is “impossible to predict the exact timing and location of a potential eruption close to Grindavík,” the Icelandic Met Office said on X on November 11 that it will likely occur in “the coming days.”

In “good news,” Icelandic scientists say it is unlikely that air traffic would be disrupted in the event of an eruption. Previous eruptions in the area—unlike that of Eyjafjallajökull in the far south of the island in 2010—did not impact flights to and from the country. The ash cloud from that eruption caused air traffic disruptions for three months in certain, localized areas, while immediately following about 20 countries closed their airspace to commercial jet traffic, affecting approximately 10 million travelers. Currently, all airlines are operating on schedule.

Blue Lagoon, which temporarily closed down on November 9 through November 16, is located less than 10 minutes by car from Grindavík and has not yet posted an update. On its website, it says the situation will be reassessed on November 16 at 7 a.m. when the property is scheduled to reopen.

Tip: Travelers can download the SafeTraveler – Iceland app, operated by the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue. It details the latest weather and road conditions.

For the latest information, visit www.visiticeland.com.

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