Impact of Volcanic Eruptions in Iceland


Discover how recent volcanic activity in Iceland is transforming its geography and affecting its economy. Join us on an in-depth journey through a stunning natural phenomenon and its repercussions for life and tourism on the island.

Challenging the calm: the unexpected eruption

On May 29, a volcanic eruption began about an hour from Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital. This was the sixth eruption in the region since 2021, after the volcano remained dormant for nearly eight centuries.

The wrath of nature

Meteorologists attribute the eruption to an earthquake in the Sundhnúkur crater, located on the Reykjanes peninsula, which occurred a few hours earlier. Kristín Jónsdóttir, a geophysicist with the Icelandic Meteorological Agency, reported that the fissure opened “forcefully.” Lava and magma emerged from a 3.4 km fissure in the crater, with jets of lava reaching more than 45 meters high, visible from Keflavik airport.

Forced changes: relocation of communities

The lava flowed for approximately 24 hours, destroying two of the three main roads connecting to the fishing village of Grindavík. Before this series of eruptions, Grindavík had about 3,000 inhabitants. Now, the town is virtually abandoned, as many residents have accepted a government plan to sell their properties and relocate; only a few first responders and a few civilians remain. Local police told the national broadcaster that three residents refuse to move, although 300 more people left the town after the recent eruption. If the eruptions continue, Grindavík could be completely isolated.

Panoramic photograph of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland. The recent eruption will have a lasting impact on Icelandic tourism.

Priority safety: evacuation in the Blue Lagoon

During the eruption, the operations manager of Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon decided to evacuate about 800 visitors. The Blue Lagoon has been evacuated three times in the last two months and temporarily closed, although no injuries have been reported. The evacuation of visitors and staff was carried out quickly and efficiently, being completed within half an hour. The following day, the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that there were no disruptions to domestic and international flights.

Volatility in tourism: consequences of rashes in the economy in Iceland

The recent eruption, more intense than previous ones, is likely to have a lasting impact on Icelandic tourism, a vital sector for the country’s economy. Frequent evacuations at its most popular destination are causing concern. The Icelandic Tourist Board assures that visiting the country remains safe. However, Icelandair and low-cost airline Play have reported a decline in sales following the series of eruptions. The Icelandic Tourist Board insists that the Blue Lagoon and Iceland in general remain safe destinations for tourists.

Study with us

The volcanic eruption in Iceland not only reminds us of the immense force of nature, but also of the need to understand and manage our environment in a sustainable manner. At our educational institution, we offer a Master in Environmental Management and Audits that prepares students to address contemporary environmental challenges with sound knowledge and practical tools. By studying this master’s degree, students will develop skills to assess and manage the environmental impact of various human activities, from industry to tourism. Through this program, they will not only contribute to environmental stewardship, but will also be equipped to lead sustainability initiatives in their future careers, creating a positive impact both locally and globally. Join us and be part of the shift towards a greener and more prosperous future! 


Volcano eruption alert in Iceland

Iceland volcano erupts again in spectacular fashion as lava flows reach defensive city walls


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