Flying with the Icelandic coast guard low over Grindavik’s abandoned streets, we adopted the gash that has ripped the city aside.
It zig-zags throughout gardens, automotive parks and streets, by way of homes and the sports activities centre.
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A crack within the earth that stretches for 9 miles throughout the Reykjanes Peninsula.
Steam nonetheless rises from scorching water pipes which were shattered by the shifting floor.
And in probably the most harmful pink zone a complete neighbourhood has slumped by virtually a metre, undermined by the molten magma increase beneath.
We tracked the fault line north-east, a transparent ridge in a sea of lava from volcanic exercise way back.
About a mile out of city is the realm the place scientists now consider a brand new eruption is probably.
You would not understand it on the floor, however that is the place molten rock remains to be rising from deep inside the Earth and the magma tunnel – or dyke as volcanologists name it – is at its widest.
Nearby, dozens of diggers, bulldozers and vehicles are ripping up rock and earth to kind a wall eight metres excessive.
The authorities hope it will likely be robust sufficient to guard an influence station from a river of lava, and maintain the warmth and lights on for 35,000 houses.
Inside the exclusion zone in Grindavik
How huge may the volcano eruption be?
What is occurring below the floor in Iceland?
This space of Iceland hadn’t had any eruptions for 800 years. But in 2021 the Fagradalsfjall volcano, about 5 miles from Grindavik, burst into life.
Two extra eruptions adopted, the newest this summer season.
We hovered just some metres over the craters, the place so just lately molten rock had spewed into the air.
On the slopes of the newest eruption, lava remains to be cooling and smoke rising into the chilly winter air.
It’s a reminder of how dynamic Iceland’s panorama is, formed by volcanic exercise.
And a reminder too of how powerless the folks of Grindavik are in opposition to the immense forces of nature.