Iceland volcano: watch as eruption begins after weeks of earthquakes which saw residents evacuated from Grindavik

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Watch as Icelandic volcano erupts following earthquakes near to Reykjavik.

The Icelandic volcano, Fagradalsfjall, which has been closely watched in recent weeks has finally erupted.

The volcano, located on the Reyjanes peninsula just south of Reykjavik, erupted after weeks of anticipation following an uptick in earthquake activity in the area. Icelandic authorities declared a state of emergency in November and the possibility of volcanic eruption was put on high alert.

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The fishing town of Grindavik was evacuated again over recent days, with residents having previously been moved away over fears that the lava may pose a risk to the town. According to eyewitness reports, smoke and ash from the volcano can be seen from Reykjavik, which is around 26 miles from Grindavik.

The Icelandic Met Office said: "Seismic activity together with measurements from GPS devices indicate that the magma is moving to the southwest and the eruption may continue in the direction of Grindavik."

Speaking to Icelandic public broadcaster RUV, Vidir Reynisson, head of Iceland's civil protection and emergency management, said: "The magma flow seems to be at least a hundred cubic meters per second, maybe more. So this would be considered a big eruption in this area at least."

Huge cracks in the ground were spotted in Grindavik in recent weeks as earthquake activity and volcanic rumbling increased. Popular tourist spots such as the nearby Blue Lagoon were also closed over fears of an imminent eruption.

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In 2010, a series of eruptions from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull led to widespread travel chaos, with ash clouds moving across Europe causing a six-day airspace ban on the continent. This most recent eruption has not has the same effect yet, with Keflavík International Airport, located around 30 miles outside Reykjavik, remaining open so far.

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