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Iceland volcano to spark ‘fountain of lava’ with residents facing months away from home

A volcano in Iceland could erupt into a “fountain of lava” at any given moment as residents have been told they likely won’t be allowed to move back home for “months,” an expert claims.

Bill McGuire, UCL professor climate hazards, explained that Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano could blow with just “30 minutes” notice – but could also not erupt at all.

The area has seen up to 1,500 daily tremors over recent days.

Around 1,200 households were told to grab as many “heartfelt” objects as they can in the town of Grindavik in the Southern Peninsula.

Travel advice from the Foreign Office still urges travellers to check official guidance over whether it is safe.

Officials say the “chances of an unannounced eruption are smaller” now that the figure has dropped below 200.

Iceland’s Met Office said: “Based on the latest data, and considering the evolution of activity since 10 November, the likelihood of a sudden eruption within the Grindavík urban area is decreasing daily, and it is presently assessed as low.

“It can be assumed that newly emplaced magma beneath Grindavík has solidified partially, thereby reducing the likelihood that the magma will reach the surface within the city limits.”

Cracks are now starting to form across the roads and stretching up into the mountains.

A police checkpoint has been set up 25km (15.5 miles) away from the town.

Experts have said any such eruptions are unlikely to cause travel chaos on the scale witnessed after the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull.

Jon Baglundsson from volunteer recue team ICE-SAR told The Independent: “Since the village was evacuated over a week ago we have been working to let residents retrieve their most heartfelt valuables in small numbers every day.

“This project has been going quite well and running smoothly. This takes time, there are 1,200 homes.

“People are mostly coming back for pictures of children, grandchildren on hard drives or whatever people store on their memories nowadays.”

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