A week ago the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland erupted forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate as lava and ash shot into the air. The eruption has continued since and NASA’s Terra satellite recently flew over the island nation and captured stunning images of the volcano.
A fissure in the earth nearly one half mile long has opened and continues to experience heightened activity.
In addition to the dangers presented by the ash and lava, Eyjafjallajokull sits beneath a massive glacier of the same name. Should the eruption spread, it could begin to melt the glacier creating massive flooding.
Eyjafjallajokull last erupted in 1821, an event that lasted for more than a year but was relatively minor in nature. Prior to that, an explosive eruption occurred on the mountain in 1612.
Officials fear that the increased activity at Eyjafjallajokull may trigger an eruption at Katla, a bigger and potentially more powerful volcano. Past activity at Eyjafjallajokull has done just that and residents are casting a wary eye on both mountains.
NASA’s Terra satellite flew over the area on Wednesday and from its perch in space, it captured images clearly showing the flowing lava, steam and plume of smoke.
Editor’s note: The images above and below are from the March 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull. Newer satellite images of the most recent activity can be found from the Natural Disasters Examiner – click here.
For all the latest on volcanoes as well as all types of natural disasters, be sure to visit the Natural Disasters Examiner!
Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland (NASA)