An enormous fiery flow of lava is engulfing a road in Iceland, after the third volcanic eruption in the same area in recent months.
Iceland’s Meteorological Office says the Sylingarfell volcano, near Grindavik, is erupting again.
The spread of the hot smoking flow was captured in extraordinary live footage from the scene.
At one point on Thursday morning, a work crew in what appeared to be a digger moved along a road towards the mass of lava as it edged towards them.
Footage also showed a car on the road in the path of the lava.
Both vehicles eventually turned and moved away, leaving it almost until the last minute to leave as thick black smoke rose above the flow.
The Blue Lagoon spa, one of the island nation’s biggest tourist attractions, has once again been evacuated because of the volcanic danger.
The latest eruption began at about 6am UK time along a nearly two-mile fissure northeast of Mount Sundhnukur, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office.
Grindavik, a coastal town of 3,800 people, was evacuated before a previous eruption on 18 December last year. The town is only a couple of miles away from the new eruption.
The Icelandic Met Office said lava was flowing to the west and there was no immediate threat to Grindavik or to a major power plant in the area.
Civil Defence officials said no one was believed to be in the town at the time of the eruption, Icelandic national broadcaster RUV reported.
Earlier this week Iceland’s Met Office had warned of a possible eruption after monitoring a build-up of subsurface magma for the past three weeks.
The amount of accumulated magma or semi-molten rock was similar to the amount released during an eruption in January.
Hundreds of small earthquakes had been measured in the area since last Friday, followed by a burst of intense seismic activity about half an hour before the latest eruption began.
It was the third eruption since December of the volcanic system on the Rekyjanes Peninsula, which is home to Keflavik, Iceland’s main airport, though there was no disruption reported at the airport.
The last eruption in the area on 14 January lasted roughly two days, with lava flows reaching the outskirts of Grindavik, whose nearly 4,000 residents had been evacuated, setting some houses alight.
Iceland sits above a volcanic hot spot in the North Atlantic and averages one eruption every four to five years.
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