A long-dormant volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland flared to life at the weekend, spilling lava down two sides in that area’s first volcanic eruption in nearly 900 years.

The glow from the lava could be seen from the outskirts of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, which is about 32km (20 miles) away. The Department of Emergency Management said it was not anticipating evacuations because the volcano is in a remote valley, about 2.5km (1.5 miles) from the nearest road.

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There had been signs of a possible eruption recently, with earthquakes occurring daily for the past three weeks. But volcanologists were still taken by surprise because the seismic activity had calmed down before the eruption.

On Saturday, experts said the volcano appeared to be subsiding and posed no danger to people.

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