Plate Tectonics

Heimaey Volcano Facts

In 1973 was the eruption of a fierce volcano on Heimaey, an Icelandic island. Heimaey is the largest island in the Vestmannaeyjar cluster. Attempts to halt lava flow in Heimaey were made but the destruction was still overwhelming. Houses were burnt to ashes in a matter of seconds.

When was the eruption of the Heimaey Volcano?

The Heimaey Volcano erupted on January 23, 1973. The burning did not stop until early July.

How many people died in the Heimaey volcano eruption?

No one died in the Heimaey volcano eruption.

Stopping the lava flow in Heimaey

The attempt to halt lava flow in Heimaey was by pumping seawater through firehoses to spray the lava.

At first water seemed to have no effect in stopping the lava flow in Heimaey. But after a long time, the lava flow stopped. The town's harbor was saved.

Volunteer volcano fighters used 43 pumps and over 30 km (19 miles) of pipe and hose. The Stopping the lava flow in Heimaey battle lasted 5 months.

Why is Iceland dangerous?

Iceland is dangerous because it is in a rift zone where two of the Earth's crustal plates are moving apart. The North American plate heads west and the European plate heads east, therefore leaving a crack in the sea floor.