Amid volcanic eruption concerns, Icelands Blue Lagoon will remain closed through November. Recently an increase in seismic activity was observed which has led to a greater likelihood of a volcanic eruption in Iceland, resulting in the closure of Blue Lagoon.
Closure of Icelands Blue Lagoon
Amid Volcanic Eruption Concerns, Icelands Blue Lagoon will Remain Closed Through November
In the wake of more than 20,000 earthquakes that have been hitting Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula since late October, Icelands Blue Lagoon, which is a famed geothermal spa has decided to temporarily close its doors to the public, amid the rising concerns of volcanic eruption, until 30th of November. On its website, Icelands Blue Lagoon said in a statement:
“The chances of a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula have significantly increased, initiating the precautionary evacuation of the town Grindavík to ensure the safety of residents.”
Volcanic Eruption Concerns
According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, Iceland’s national weather service, on 24 October, volcanic activity started in Iceland with a “seismic swarm” of more than 4,000 earthquakes in the span of the first few days. The activity that is centred around the town of Grindavík, lying just south of the Blue Lagoon and about 30 miles southwest of Reykjavík, is primarily due to an accumulation of magma several miles under the crust of the earth. Ever since the initial swarm, thousands of earthquakes hit the area, continuing to jolt it. In light of the increasing volcanic eruption concerns, the Icelandic Meteorological Office stated:
“an example of this episodic seismic activity that can be expected while magma accumulation is in progress,”
Taking into account the increased risk of Volcanic eruption, the U.S. embassy in Reykjavík issued a volcano alert in a statement issued on November 13.
“The Icelandic Meteorological Office warned of the high probability of a volcanic eruption in the next few days in or near Grindavík, 26 miles due southwest of Reykjavík, on the Reykjanes Peninsula,”
On Monday, 13th of November, the National Police Commissioner of Iceland, raised the danger level from “alert” to “emergency”, which is the highest threat level. Responding to the growing volcanic eruption concerns and for the sake of the safety of its staff and guests, Icelands Blue Lagoon made the right decision to remain closed until the disaster has passed.
Volcanic Eruption in Iceland – What it Would Mean for Air Travel
According to a statement issued on the 13th of November by the U.S embassy in Reykjavík:
“There are no current impacts to flight operations at Keflavík Airport (KEF),”
However, despite the statement the Aviation Color Code in Iceland has been changed to orange. Per the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the orange Aviation Color Code indicates a “heightened unrest with increased likelihood of eruption,”
Jonathan Porter who is the chief meteorologist for global weather center AccuWeather compares the current situation with the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in Iceland and states that the eruption “caused travel chaos for weeks on end as the volcano produced a large plume of volcanic ash lofted high into the atmosphere,”
However, according to Porter thankfully the potential border impact on air travel this time around is not expected to be as severe as the eruption of 2010. But he did issue a caveat saying that:
“People who are traveling to and from Europe during the next few weeks, especially during the United States Thanksgiving holiday, should closely monitor developments in Iceland.”
Adding to his statement, Porter stated:
“Although it does not appear that this volcano will have as major an impact [on] air travel across Europe as we saw back in 2010, any volcanic ash sent into the atmosphere can result in portions of air space being closed . . . so travelers will need to watch out for a potential cascade of flight cancellations and delays.”
Icelands Blue Lagoon Closure Amid Rising Volcanic Eruption Concerns
The closure of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon not only impacts the lagoon but also the company’s Retreat Hotel and Spa and Silica Hotel, which reside on the same property, and two on-site restaurants, i.e., Moss and Lava. Despite there being no word whether the closure will last longer, Blue Lagoon is continually trying the assess the situation, according to their recent statement.
“At this moment it is not possible to determine when or where an eruption might occur,” stated Icelands Blue Lagoon on their website. “Considering disruptions to our guests’ experience and the sustained pressure on our employees, these precautionary measures were taken to ensure safety and well-being for all,”
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