Photos from past eruptions
Iceland has seen its share of eruptions, so the seismic activity at Bárðarbunga reminds Icelanders of what an eruption might mean for the people of the area around it. Seismic activity continues, but there are no signs of an eruption.
Photographers from mbl.is have been on site for almost all of them. Here are some photos from past eruptions.
The front page of Morgunblaðið the day after the eruption at Heimaey started on January 23rd 1973. A third of the island town of Vestmannaeyjar was engulfed by lava. Dispite that, only one person died. The stream of lava almost closed off the harbor of the town, which would have been it's end. The people of Vestmannaeyjar, refusing to surrender to the forces of nature, pumped seawater onto the oncoming lava, slowing and eventually stopping it before it was too late.
The ash fallout made day seem like night during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010. This photo is taken around 14:00, 2pm. Rax / Ragnar Axelsson
Þorvaldseyri farm. The area around the houses is usually green. Ash fallout from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption made the area look like this. Rax / Ragnar Axelsson
Daylight breaking through during the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption ash fallout. Scientist can be seen as silhouettes. Rax / Ragnar Axelsson
Guðný with one of her lambs. She quit trying to keep her farmhouse at Hvoli in Fljótshverfi clean during the eruption in Grímsvötn. The ash fallout means everything is covered with a thin, grey veil. "The only place I try to keep clean is the kitchen," she said. Eggert Jóhannesson
Farmer Sigurjóna Matthíasdóttir, covered in ash after rounding up her sheep. A thick layer of ash covered Kirkjubæjarklaustur. People stayed indoors and many people with children left the area South of Vatnajökull. Eggert Jóhannesson
Rescue workers near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in 2011. Iceland does not have any form of national guard to respond to a crisis like eruptions or avalanches, but relies on volunteers. A very large number of Icelanders volunteer for these so called Björgunar- or Hjálparsveitir, ready to respond in the middle of the night or during work hours with only a moments notice. Ernir Eyjólfsson
People very rarely die in modern day eruptions in Iceland. Animals, unfortunately, are not always as fortunate. Eggert Jóhannesson
Farmer Agnar Davíðsson rounding up his sheep at Fossar in Landbrot with the help of rescue workers in 2011. Eggert Jóhannesson
Horses frightened by volcanic activity and ash fallout. The ash often contains fluoride, which can be poisonous in high doses. Ómar Óskarsson