Dozens of earthquakes strike after volcano starts erupting near capital city

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A volcano close to the capital of Iceland and the country’s main airport has started to erupt.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office said the eruption is near the Fagradalsfjall mountain, 20 miles south-west of the capital Reykjavik.

A live video feed from the site shows molten lava spewing from a narrow fissure in the mountain.

The eruption follows days of small earthquakes in the area along a peninsula known to be a seismic hot-spot.

In March last year, lava fountains erupted spectacularly from a 500-750 metre long fissure in the same area, with activity continuing until September.

It was the first to take place in the area for as long as 800 years but the country is no stranger to eruptions and earthquakes.

The island is located above a volcanic hotspot in the North Atlantic and averages an eruption every four to five years.

Fresh volcanic activity close to Keflavik Airport, Iceland’s international air traffic hub, will put the nation’s airline industry on high alert.

Eruptions on Iceland have been known to have knock on effects on European aviation.

The eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 sent clouds of ash and dust into the atmosphere, interrupting air travel for days between Europe and North America.

More than 100,000 flights were grounded, stranding millions of passengers.

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