REYKJAVIK: Lava spewed Saturday (Mar 16) from a new volcanic fissure on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula, the fourth eruption to hit the area since December, authorities said.

A “volcanic eruption has started between Stora Skogfell and Hagafell on the Reykjanes Peninsula,” said a statement from the Icelandic Met Office (IMO). Live video images showed glowing lava and billowing smoke.

Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management announced it had sent a helicopter to narrow down the exact location of the new fissure.

Minutes before the eruption, the IMO had issued a statement saying that seismic activity indicated that there was an increased chance of an eruption.

Local media reported that the evacuation of the fishing town of Grindavik had started, with residents having received text messages telling them to leave quickly.

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