Iceland's New Volcanic Eruption: What You Need to Know - Hotel Rangá

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People watch Iceland's newest volcano erupting in July 2023 near Litli Hrútur.

Iceland’s New Volcanic Eruption: What You Need to Know

On March 16th 2024, Iceland witnessed a new volcanic eruption. Making it the fourth eruption in the region since December 2023. Geologists draw parallels with the December 2023 eruption, suggesting a short duration for this volcanic activity, spanning just a few days. However, staying informed is crucial for travelers. Here‘s what you need to know about Iceland‘s latest volcanic activity.
  • Volcano erupts in southwest Iceland.
  • Flights are operating as usual with no disruptions.
  • No imminent danger to lives.
  • Tourists can explore South Iceland safely.

Iceland’s New Volcanic Eruption & Earthquakes: Updated 10th of May 2024 at 11AM

The eruption in Sundhnúkagígar crater has now ended.

A recent fissure eruption commenced on the Reykjanes Peninsula by Hagafell and Stóra Skógafell on March 16. Making it the fourth eruption in the region since December 2023. While the eruption still persists, its intensity has decreased significantly. Scientist are predicting that it will be a short eruption, similar to the last three eruptions.

Iceland – also known as the land of fire and ice – witnessed a new volcanic eruption on the 8th of February, lasting for less than 2 days. This eruption occurred nearly a month after a brief volcanic event in the same vicinity. This eruption marks the sixth volcanic eruption in Iceland since 2021, and the third since December 2023.

This eruption was situated further away from the town of Grindavík, than the one in December when lava flow reached the outskirts of the fishing town of Grindavík.

 

Overhead view of Iceland's newest volcano erupting in July 2023 near Litli Hrútur.
Icelandic volcano at Litli Hrútur that erupted in the summer of 2023. Photo by Ása Steinarsdóttir.

Impact of Iceland’s Volcanic Eruption on Air Travel

Volcanic eruptions are a natural occurence in Iceland – international flights are not threatened by this volcanic activity.

The Reykjanes Peninsula eruptions, including this one, are of the fissure type. Fissure eruptions occur when magma flows up through cracks in the ground and reaches the surface through the cracks.

Has The Eruption Caused Any Road Closures?

Yes–at this time the roads surrounding the town of Grindavík and the Blue Lagoon are currently closed. The lava from this eruption crossed Grindavíkurvegur road. However, you can still safely travel from Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavík, Hotel Rangá and other parts of Iceland on road nr. 1.

Is It Safe To Go To Iceland Right Now?

Yes, it is safe to go to Iceland right now. All airports in Iceland are functioning normally, and all flights to Iceland are operating on schedule. The impact of volcanic eruptions is most often limited to specific, localized areas near the eruption site. Notably, previous eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula have not disrupted air travel to and from the country in any way.

Flights to Keflavík International Airport are proceeding as scheduled, along with services to Akureyri airport in the northeast.

We will provide frequent updates on the new volcanic site on this blog. If you are planning to stay at Hotel Rangá, please feel free to contact our front desk with any inquires you may have.

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Overhead view of Iceland's newest volcano erupting in July 2023 near Litli Hrútur.
Clouds of steam and gas over the volcano at Litli Hrútur. Photo by Ása Steinarsdóttir.

Is Hotel Rangá Close To The New Volcanic Site?

No, Hotel Rangá is located at a safe distance from the volcanic site, ensuring the well-being of all our guests traveling to and from Iceland. The new fissure is approximately 129 km (80 mi) or 2 hours away from our resort.

Is it safe to travel in South Iceland?

Yes, absolutely. The Icelandic authorities are well-prepared to handle such events, ensuring the safety of residents and visitors alike.

Moreover, the affected area is localized, primarily impacting the people of Grindavík. However, the rest of South Iceland remains open and accessible. Roads are clear, and popular tourist attractions like the Golden Circle and Seljalandsfoss waterfall remain unaffected – and are in fact far away from the volcanic site.

Recent Volcanic Activity In Iceland

Iceland is known for its tectonic and volcanic activity. Yet, for centuries, the Reykjanes Peninsula area has lain dormant.

For further insight into volcanic eruptions in Iceland, explore the following links to our blog archives:

Webstreams of the new volcanic eruption in Iceland

Here you can follow the live broadcast of the volcanic eruption in the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Can you visit the erupting volcano in Iceland?

No, access to the new eruption site is currently restricted, and hiking to the volcano is strictly prohibited. However, you can still capture captivating volcanic images from a safe distance from Reykjavík.

Visitors sit on a hillside watching the volcano erupt at Meradalir in Iceland.
Visitors watch the volcano at Meradalir as it erupts. Photograph by Stefán Pálsson.

Is the town of Grindavík safe?

The current fissure eruption is located at a greater distance from the town of Grindavík compard to the previous one in December. The town had been evacuated and no imminent threats to life in the town.

Can you still see the northern lights despite the volcanic eruption?

Yes, it is still possible to see the northern lights even though there is a volcanic eruption. The eruption did not release any kind of ash cloud, so the skies are still clear. What’s more, Hotel Rangá is too far away from the volcanic eruption for air quality to be affected. To learn more about why Hotel Rangá is the best hotel to see the northern lights in Iceland, check out this blog post.

Does Iceland’s New Volcanic Eruption Pose A Danger To Travelers?

We want to assure you that there is no reason to fear. The Icelandic Authorities with help of a team of scientists and specialists are closely monitoring the situation.

At Hotel Rangá our  top priority is the well-being of our guests. If you have any concerns or questions, our staff is here to assist you. We appreciate your trust in choosing Hotel Rangá, and we look forward to providing you with memorable and worry-free experience.

Safe travels!

Green northern lights dance above Hotel Rangá luxury hotel in south Iceland.
Green northern lights dance above Hotel Rangá. Photo by Herman Desmet.

 

 

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