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Table 4 Table summarising basaltic lava flow events at Vestmannaeyjar Volcanic Field that have threatened inhabited areas since 1950

From: Lava flow crises in inhabited areas part I: lessons learned and research gaps related to effusive, basaltic eruptions

Eruption Overview, including impacts (Eruption duration) Response Recovery & Applying lessons learned
1973 A new volcanic vent in the Vestmannaeyjar Volcanic Field opened near the town of Heimaey. The eruption fire-fountained, creating tephra and lava flows. The lava flow stopped advancing before inundating the entire town and harbour. (5 months) Villagers evacuated the island along with their belongings and livestock. The first responders put out fires and tried to protect the town’s harbour using water pumped from the harbour. Iceland requested aid from other countries to ensure enough equipment. Some of the town was rebuilt; other parts were unburied and continue to be used. Within a year, two of the town’s fish factories had been unburied and were in working order again (Fig. 3). Additionally, the town used the cooling lava flows to create energy to power the town for over a decade.
  1. Thorarinsson et al. (1973), Williams and Moore (1983), McPhee (1989)