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Lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Saturday, March 20, 2021
Lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Saturday, March 20, 2021   -   Copyright  Credit: AP

Iceland volcano: Lava flows thrill crowds after eruption near Reykjavik

The eruption of a long-dormant volcano in Iceland has turned a green valley into a hostile setting worthy of the darkness of the Lord of the Rings.

The volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula, near the capital Reykjavik, sparked into life last Friday.

It was the area’s first volcanic eruption in nearly 800 years.

Large crowds have trekked to the valley to get a closer look at the lava flows.

Italian photographer Vincenzo Mazza, who lives in Iceland, was one of those who got a close look at the slow-flowing lava.

“I’ve been waiting for many years to see an eruption in Iceland,” he said. “I saw some eruptions in Italy, like Etna and Stromboli, but this is absolutely different."

“I can’t say ‘this is more beautiful than that’ because they are very different, but this lava glowing just so close to us, it’s insane,” Mazza said.

Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
People watch as lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday, March 24Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
A person watches as lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday, March 24, 2021Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
Lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday, March 24, 2021Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
A man watches as lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday, March 24, 2021Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
People watch as lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland late on Wednesday, March 24, 2021Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
Lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday, March 24, 2021Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco
A man takes a photo as lava flows from an eruption of a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday, March 24Marco Di Marco/Marco Di Marco

Icelandic officials said they did not anticipate evacuations because the volcano is in a remote area, about 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) from the nearest road.

"The flow has been similar since the start of the eruption," said Freysteinn Sigmundsson, a geophysicist at the Institute of Earth Sciences.

"This means that we are starting to wonder if this could possibly be a long-lasting eruption," he told AFP news agency.