Hekla erupts Feb 26 - ~29, 2000
Modified from Daily News from Iceland)

Without much warning, Mt. Hekla, south Iceland, began erupting at 18:18 on Saturday, February 26, 2000. A 6-7 km long fissure could be seen along the mountain top on Saturday night, the column of steam rose nearly 15 km (45,000 feet) into the sky and ash was detected as far north as the island of Grímsey. Although the activity peaked within the hour, the eruption is still going on and an impressive river of lava continues to flow east from the single crater currently active. After flying over the area yesterday, the Coast Guard reported that the new lava covers a stretch of about 3-4 km at its longest.

Hekla is without doubt Iceland's most famous volcano. This is actually the first time that scientists have had warning of an eruption before the activity started - all of 30 minutes beforehand. Since 1970, the volcano has put on a show every ten years or so, in 1970, 1980, 1991 and then this latest one which appears to resemble that of 1991. These eruptions have all been fairly small, the last big one was in 1947 when Hekla had been dormant for a little over 100 years. In centuries past the ash and lava (from nine recorded eruptions in 1300, 1341, 1389, 1510, 1597, 1636, 1766 and 1845) have caused considerable danger and damage to farms and livestock in the region, but the modern versions have turned into a tourist spectacle.

This turned out to be a rather short eruption, lasted only a few days.

See also (at least while active eruptions continue):  Morgunblağiğ, CNN

E-mail:  throstur@turdus.net
Last modified on mars 16, 2000