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2012 Surtsey eruption

Date:

6:27 PM AST; February 6, 2012

Size:

VEI 4

Location:

63° 18′ 10.8″ N, 20° 36′ 16.92″ W

Countries/Regions affected:


Iceland
Greenland
Ireland
United Kingdom
Norway
Sweden
Finland
Russia
Denmark

Casualties:

102 confirmed

Tsunami:

No

The 2012 eruption of Surtsey, a volcanic island located south of the Icelandic coast, one that first formed in 1963, and whose last eruption was four years later, in 1967, was a large volcanic eruption, on a scale the entire country of Iceland hadn't experienced for years. It was preceded by a large swarm of strong harmonic tremors in early to mid February 2012, followed by a large, VEI-4 event that enlarged the island to nearly the size of the Hawaiian Island of Kauai by May 2012. Volcanic bombs burst in the water after being ejected from the volcano, making it all but impossible for any ships, even specially equipped ones (ones that could withstand large amounts of ash and sulfur dioxide), to approach the island for nearly two weeks. As the eruption progressed, it spread ash far and wide, even in the skies of Europe, same as with the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, and the 2002 eruption of the Long Valley Caldera, which spread ash over much of western North America. The largest harmonic tremor registered nearly 6.1 on the Richter scale, causing minor damage as far away as Reykyavik, and the sudden eruption caught a large jetliner, a Boeing 767, in midair, with the ash causing all engines to stall, and the plane to crash near the town of Hvolsvöllur, killing 97 (out of 110) from the plane, and 3 on the ground from flying debris.

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