Iceland’s Blue Lagoon evacuated due to latest volcanic eruption

As many as 700 people were reportedly forced to flee Iceland’s Blue Lagoon on Saturday as the latest volcanic eruption triggered a state of emergency.

The geothermal spa will remain shut until at least Tuesday as a result of the fourth eruption in three months on the Reykjanes peninsula in the southwest of the country.

Lava reached the eastern defences around the mostly evacuated town of Grindavik.  

Keflavik airport and regional airports in Iceland have not been impacted and remain operational.

The Icelandic Met Office reported that the intensity of Saturday night’s eruption had decreased but was “very similar” to three previous events.

The Foreign Office said in updated travel advice: “Recently there have been a series of volcanic eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland, the latest occurring on 16 March. 

“These have affected the town of Grindavik and area to the north of it. All roads to Grindavik and the surrounding area are closed and you should stay away from this area. 

Keflavik International airport and the road to it is unaffected and operating normally. The capital city, Reykjavik, and the rest of Iceland is not impacted by the eruptions. 

However, it added: “The likelihood of further eruptions in this location remains high. You should monitor local media for updates and follow the authorities’ advice on travel to the area.”

The Blue Lagoon said: “Due to a volcanic eruption that commenced at Sundhnúkagígar on March 16, we have evacuated and temporarily closed all our operational units. 

“Despite these recent events, all our facilities remain in good condition and are surrounded by protective barriers designed to safeguard Blue Lagoon’s vital infrastructure against potential lava flows.

“We will remain closed through Tuesday, March 19.”

“We will continue to closely follow the guidelines and recommendations of the authorities, working collaboratively with them to monitor the progression of events. This commitment aligns with our unwavering dedication to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our valued guests and staff.”

Icelandair said: “Our schedule and the operation of Keflavik airport are not affected and this recent volcanic activity has had no impact on flight connections to and from Iceland.

“The safety of our passengers and staff is always our number one priority and at the heart of every decision we make. 

“Together with experts, we closely monitor any volcanic activity, and inform our passengers of any new developments using the contact details registered in their booking.”

Icelandic budget carrier Play said: “This eruption is not expected to disrupt any flights to or from Iceland, nor traffic to and from Keflavik International airport.

“With three eruptions in three months in 2024, eruptions are expected to be a regular occurrence in this area. 

“While we take them very seriously and exercise extreme caution when dealing with such awesome forces of nature, these eruptions pose no threat to air travel to and from Iceland. 

“Iceland is the safest country in the world for a reason and our infrastructure is more than capable of dealing with this. The area is monitored closely by authorities and access restricted according to the activity.”

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