More fissures are opening up at the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland

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Brian Emfinger

Photographer Brian Emfinger

THIS extraordinary aerial shot of an ongoing volcanic eruption near the city of Reykjavik in Iceland encapsulates the natural phenomenon’s beauty and destructive power.

Photojournalist Brian Emfinger used a drone to capture the image of bubbling hot lava flowing out of the Fagradalsfjall volcano. It first erupted on 19 March and has since attracted numerous awe-struck spectators. This fissure in the volcano – the fourth to appear during this series of eruptions – began to ooze lava in the early hours of 9 April, resulting in the scorching blanket of molten rock seen in this image.

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For now, Icelandic authorities are permitting people to visit the site because the lava isn’t flowing fast enough to pose an immediate danger. Early measurements of the fissure suggest that the rate of lava flow is set to increase, and toxic sulphur dioxide released from the magma is causing a surge in air pollution in the area.

Two more fissures, have since opened up, and further ones may prove dangerous if the lava flow becomes hard for people to evade.

Non-explosive volcanic eruptions are common in Iceland, particularly in the Reykjavik peninsula, although ones where the magma emerges from deep within Earth’s crust like this one haven’t occurred in millennia, according to geologists.

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