A roughly one-kilometer (0.6-mile) wide piece of land fell from a mountain near Askja stratovolcano on Monday night. Several 50-meter (164-feet) tidal waves crashed on the rocks around the lake in Askja during the night. According to estimates, 50 to 60 million cubic meters (1,766-2,118 cubic feet) of land fell down the mountain. As a result of the warm weather in the area in recent days, ice around the lake melted quickly causing the ground to destabilize.
Researcher Ármann Höskuldsson was in the area with a group of students when the incident occurred and says it was lucky that the incident occurred around midnight when no one was down by the lake.
“There was a massive landslide with part of it falling into the water which created a tidal wave ... The waves were around 50 meters high and were hitting up against the walls of the northern side of the lake,” he told ruv.is.
The waves have resulted in significant erosion, ruv.is reports.
The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management met this morning to discuss the situation. Hiking tracks in the area have been closed.
Click here to see aerial footage of the lake following the landslide.