Late on Monday night, the Icelandic skies were ablaze as a volcanic eruption illuminated the Reykjanes peninsula, sending a 2.5-mile fissure spewing rivers of molten lava toward nearby towns. This unexpected event, near the Keflavik International Airport and the renowned thermal springs of Reykjavik, has triggered a state of emergency declared by the police and the closure of tourist spots.
The eruption, recorded at 10:17 p.m. by the Icelandic Meteorological Office, follows weeks of closely monitored seismic activity. Over 3,400 residents in Grindavík, a small fishing town just 1.8 miles from the fissure’s southern end, had been evacuated in November due to earthquakes and steam-emitting cracks in roads.
For survival-minded families, this eruption is a timely reminder about preparedness. Disaster can strike at any time and many disasters are entirely outside of human ability to control. The only thing we can do is to prepare for them by having adequate supplies and a means to escape a disaster area.
The U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik has advised Americans to steer clear of the eruption zone and stay tuned to local media for guidance.
According to Freysteinn Sigmundsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland, this eruption surpasses three previous events in power and unfolded unusually swiftly, breaking through the earth’s crust with intense pressure. While the lava flow remains in a remote area, potential risks to infrastructure, including the town of Grindavík and the Svartsengi power plant, loom.
The Icelandic Civil Defense Coordination Center has been activated as a precaution, with authorities cautioning against visiting the eruption area. Though the eruption’s intensity is diminishing, the civil defense preparedness level has been elevated, anticipating ground disruptions lasting up to 10 days.
Survivalists should note that while the immediate threat to power plants has diminished, the direction of lava flow remains unpredictable. Volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson warns of potential dangers to major infrastructure, including Reykjanesbraut, a crucial east-to-west road, and the village of Vogar.
This acts as a reminder that America’s power grid is extremely fragile. Even a temporary disruption in local power supply on the order of weeks or months would be extremely disruptive, making basic survival a real challenge for the affected population, assuming that they did not prepare for such a “grid down” event.
Keflavik Airport continues its operations, but delays are reported on departure boards. Unlike the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, which disrupted air travel globally, this event is distinct in its impact. Experts suggest monitoring the situation closely, as the Icelandic cabinet convenes to assess the unfolding developments in this fiery awakening.
How are you preparing for natural disasters? What tips have you picked up? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.