Several homes were destroyed by lava in Iceland this week as a volcanic eruption started to get out of hand. Cracks first appeared in the earth in Iceland back in November, and now lava is actively spewing out of the ground. Engineers and heavy equipment operators are throwing up massive earthworks to try to minimize the damage from the long-dormant volcano.
While the giant mounds of earth do seem to be working well at stopping some of the lava flows, it was too little, too late for the town of Grindavík. Thousands of people there have been evacuated since Sunday when a fissure opened up in a residential neighborhood and started spewing lava.
A magma tunnel—known as a pyroduct—appears to have tunneled completely under the town, creating the possibility for a catastrophic level of damage. Three homes have vanished in the residential neighborhood where the lava flowed onto the ground. They were completely destroyed. This was the third time that Grindavík had to be evacuated in the last three months.
While there have been no reported deaths, one worker is missing after a fissure opened up in the ground and swallowed him. The rescue effort had to be called off when conditions on the ground became too dangerous for other workers.
Videos of the eruption posted on social media show the astonishing amounts of lava that are pouring onto the ground as construction crews try to stay ahead of it:
Húsnæði Orf og Grindavíkurvegur eru næstu innviðir sem gætu lent undir hrauni. Eftir það kemur að heitavatnslög og rafmagnslögn til Grindavíkur.
Verktakarnir sem hafa unnið dag og nótt við að reisa varnargarðana björguðu stærstu og mikilvægustu vélum landsins: https://t.co/IydnCKq27B pic.twitter.com/Yi4ND3frsT
— Fréttastofa RÚV (@RUVfrettir) January 14, 2024