The Reykjanes volcano in Iceland erupted on Monday night, south of the capital Reykjavik, following an earthquake swarm, Iceland’s Meteorological Office (IMO) reported.
“An eruption has started on the Reykjanes peninsula,” the office said.
“It can be seen on webcams and seems to be located close to Hagafell,” a town south of the capital.
The eruption began around 10:17 p.m. local time (22:17 GMT) following a series of small earthquakes at around 9 p.m., the IMO added.
The country had been preparing for the eruption for weeks, declaring an emergency in mid-November.
Icelandic volcano erupts after weeks of buildup
Local weather officials had warned in November there was a “significant likelihood” of a volcanic eruption. More than 20,000 quakes have shaken the area since late October, officials have said.
About 3,700 residents of Grindavík, a nearby fishing town, began evacuating on Nov. 10, according to the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. The evacuation was successful, Bjarni Benediktsson, the minister of foreign affairs, said at the time.