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
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.