Flying with the Icelandic coast guard low over Grindavik’s abandoned streets, we adopted the gash that has ripped the city aside.
It zig-zags throughout gardens, automotive parks and streets, via homes and the sports activities centre.
A crack within the earth that stretches for 9 miles throughout the Reykjanes Peninsula.
Steam nonetheless rises from scorching water pipes which have been shattered by the shifting floor.
And in probably the most harmful crimson zone a complete neighbourhood has slumped by virtually a metre, undermined by the molten magma increase beneath.
We tracked the fault line north-east, a transparent ridge in a sea of lava from volcanic exercise way back.
A few mile out of city is the world the place scientists now consider a brand new eruption is probably.
You would not understand it on the floor, however that is the place molten rock remains to be rising from deep inside the Earth and the magma tunnel – or dyke as volcanologists name it – is at its widest.
Close by, dozens of diggers, bulldozers and vehicles are ripping up rock and earth to type a wall eight metres excessive.
The authorities hope it is going to be sturdy sufficient to guard an influence station from a river of lava, and hold the warmth and lights on for 35,000 houses.
This space of Iceland hadn’t had any eruptions for 800 years. However in 2021 the Fagradalsfjall volcano, about 5 miles from Grindavik, burst into life.
Two extra eruptions adopted, the most recent this summer.
We hovered just some metres over the craters, the place so lately molten rock had spewed into the air.
On the slopes of the latest eruption, lava remains to be cooling and smoke rising into the chilly winter air.
It is a reminder of how dynamic Iceland’s panorama is, formed by volcanic exercise.
And a reminder too of how powerless the individuals of Grindavik are in opposition to the immense forces of nature.