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Iceland volcano erupts north of a nearby settlement

LONDON — Iceland’s Meteorological Office says a volcano is erupting in the southwestern part of the country, spewing lava from a three kilometer (1.5 mile) fissure north of the town of Grindavik.

The eruption of the Sylingarfell volcano began at 6 a.m. local time Thursday, soon after an intense burst of seismic activity.

The Met Office said the eruption is in roughly the same location as an earlier one in December.

Icelandic national broadcaster RUV said the nearby Blue Lagoon thermal spa, one of Iceland’s biggest tourist attractions, was closed when the eruption began and guests were evacuated to hotels.

Iceland, which sits above a volcanic hot spot in the North Atlantic, averages an eruption every four to five years. The most disruptive in recent times was the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which spewed huge clouds of ash into the atmosphere and led to widespread airspace closures over Europe.

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