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WATCH: Intense, Fiery Footage of Iceland’s Erupting Volcano 

A photographer in Iceland was able to capture some intense photos and footage of the volcano currently erupting on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Hörður Kristleifsson says he was able to visit the scene accompanied by ICE-SAR and the police. Facing strong winds, he flew a drone once over the Sundhnúkagígaröðin eruption before being forced to evacuate. 

The Icelandic Meteorological Office, in an update on Tuesday, says the eruption, which began in force on Monday evening, December 18, is now weakening. 

“New aerial images of the area show that there are now three vents erupting southeast of Stóra-Skógfell, down from the previous five,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office writes in its December 19, 18:30 UTC update.

The office said at least 320 earthquakes have been measured since the eruption started, including one quake with a magnitude of 4.1, which occurred near midnight local time on Monday.

In a Facebook post, the Icelandic Coast Guard said as soon as they received notification, a helicopter crew was dispatched with scientists on board to “assess the scale of the volcano, the length of the eruption and lava flow.”

The eruption didn’t come as a complete surprise. Last month, Iceland released a volcano alert when intense seismic activity hit the town of Grindavík, which is just a couple miles from the Sundhnúksgíga volcano. The Blue Lagoon thermal pool was temporarily closed in November, and Grindavík residents were evacuated. It’s now clear the precaution was premature by just a few weeks.

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