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A Volcano Erupts

SMOKE AND ASH On January 14, lava from a volcanic eruption lights up a massive smoke cloud. ICELANDIC DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL PROTECTION AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

A volcano on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula erupted on the morning of January 14. It sent molten lava into Grindavík, a fishing town. Several houses caught fire. No deaths were reported. Many people were forced from their homes. While they’re staying with friends or family, they’re waiting for a long-term solution from the Icelandic government.

The lava has caused major damage. It broke hot water pipes. These supplied the town from the nearby power station. So homes have no heat. At this time, temperatures are freezing, and the houses are too cold to live in. 

The eruption is Iceland’s fifth in three years. Emergency workers have been building defensive walls around the town. But these were not yet complete. Iceland’s prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, says the barriers were “serving their purpose” by redirecting the flow of lava. But lava from a second crack in the ground made its way around them.

LAVA RIVER Lava flows near the town of Reykjanes, damaging buildings and infrastructure.


Stop & Think! Why do news organizations cover natural disasters? What information about them is most important for people to know?