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Eruption Lava Could Now Cover Reykjavík

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Eruption Lava Could Now Cover Reykjavík

Eruption in Reykjavík

What if an eruption would start in Reykjavík? Composite photo: Páll Kjartansson.

The Holuhraun lava is already one of the biggest eruptions in modern times in Iceland. We are lucky that Holuhraun is about as far from all towns in Iceland as possible. But what if the eruption was in Reykjavík? How much damage would the eruption have done?

The Holuhraun lava now covers between 40 and 45 square kilometers (15 to 17 square miles). The volume is about 500 million cubic meters and is one of the biggest in Iceland in such a short time.

Volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson told visir.is that: “This is the most powerful eruption that we have seen in our time. The Hekla eruption in 1947 was 800 million cubic meters, but that eruption lasted for two years. This eruption has only lasted three weeks and is already up to 500 million cubic meters.”

Ármann said that a comparable amount of lava was emitted from Lakagígar in 1783 and in Tröllahraun 1862-64.

Lava in Reykjavík

The map shows how much of the area of Reykjavík the lava would cover now. It would cover almost the entire city. Picture: Loftmyndir ehf. from visir.is.

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