Photos from past eruptions

Sheep and lambs near the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010.

Sheep and lambs near the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010. Júlíus Sigurjónsson

Gunnar Dofri Ólafsson

mbl.is
Gunnar Dofri Ólafsson

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.

From the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

From the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Rax / Ragnar Axelsson

The front page of Morgunblaðið the day after the eruption …

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 …

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

Ash fallout from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010.

Ash fallout from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010. Rax / Ragnar Axelsson

Þorvaldseyri farm. The area around the houses is usually green. …

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. …

Daylight breaking through during the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption ash fallout. Scientist can be seen as silhouettes. Rax / Ragnar Axelsson

Eruption in Fimmvörðuháls, near Eyjafjallajökull

Eruption in Fimmvörðuháls, near Eyjafjallajökull Rax / Ragnar Axelsson

Eruption in Fimmvörðuháls.

Eruption in Fimmvörðuháls. RAX / Ragnar Axelsson

Lavastream in Fimmvörðuháls.

Lavastream in Fimmvörðuháls. Rax / Ragnar Axelsson

Guðný with one of her lambs. She quit trying to …

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 …

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 …

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

Rescue workers. Notice how the truck is covered in ash.

Rescue workers. Notice how the truck is covered in ash. Eggert Jóhannesson

Jökulhlaups can be very destructive.

Jökulhlaups can be very destructive. Eggert Jóhannesson

People very rarely die in modern day eruptions in Iceland. …

People very rarely die in modern day eruptions in Iceland. Animals, unfortunately, are not always as fortunate. Eggert Jóhannesson

Farmer Vilhjálmur Eyjólfsson at Hnausar during the Grímsvötn eruption in …

Farmer Vilhjálmur Eyjólfsson at Hnausar during the Grímsvötn eruption in 2011. Eggert Jóhannesson

Farmer Agnar Davíðsson rounding up his sheep at Fossar in …

Farmer Agnar Davíðsson rounding up his sheep at Fossar in Landbrot with the help of rescue workers in 2011. Eggert Jóhannesson

Seljavallalaug pool was filled to the brim with ash in …

Seljavallalaug pool was filled to the brim with ash in 2011. Ernir Eyjólfsson

Volunteer rescue workers by Skaftárskáli during the 2011 Grímsvötn eruption.

Volunteer rescue workers by Skaftárskáli during the 2011 Grímsvötn eruption. Ernir Eyjólfsson

A shopping trip to Kirkjubæjarklaustur during the 2011 Grímsvötn eruption.

A shopping trip to Kirkjubæjarklaustur during the 2011 Grímsvötn eruption. Ernir Eyjólfsson

Horses frightened by volcanic activity and ash fallout. The ash …

Horses frightened by volcanic activity and ash fallout. The ash often contains fluoride, which can be poisonous in high doses. Ómar Óskarsson

From the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Photo taken in early 2011.

From the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Photo taken in early 2011. Kristinn Ingvarsson

Þorvaldseyri during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

Þorvaldseyri during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Golli / Kjartan Þorbjörnsson

Farmer Jón Örn Árnason in Fljótshlíð during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

Farmer Jón Örn Árnason in Fljótshlíð during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Eggert Jóhannesson

Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Árni Sæberg

Eyjafjallajökull.

Eyjafjallajökull. Rax / Ragnar Axelsson

Eruption near Eyjafjallajökull

Eruption near Eyjafjallajökull RAX / Ragnar Axelsson

Eyjafjallajökull eruption up close and personal.

Eyjafjallajökull eruption up close and personal. RAX / Ragnar Axelsson

Hekla eruption in 2000.

Hekla eruption in 2000. Árni Sæberg

Hekla eruption in 2000.

Hekla eruption in 2000. Golli / Kjartan Þorbjörnsson

Footsteps in the Eyjafjallajökull ash.

Footsteps in the Eyjafjallajökull ash. Ómar Óskarsson

Tracks in the thick ash from Eyjafjallajökull.

Tracks in the thick ash from Eyjafjallajökull. Ómar Óskarsson

Eyjafjallajökull eruption seen from afar.

Eyjafjallajökull eruption seen from afar. Ómar Óskarsson

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