volcano erupted near the capital Reykjavik

(CNN) — A volcano erupted on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula, located in the southwest of the country, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) reported on Twitter on Friday.

‘A volcanic eruption started in Fagradalsfjall. The color code of the flight is red, but very little turbulence is observed in the seismometers, ”the office tweeted.

Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management urged citizens living several kilometers around the volcano to close their windows and stay indoors to avoid the effects of volcanic gas in the air.

“Volcanic gas pollution is expected to spread to Þorlákshöfn and continue into the night. People are asked to close the windows and stay indoors. The status and amount of SO2 emissions from the eruption is being assessed, ”the agency tweeted late on Friday.

Previously, the department had asked the population to avoid the Reykjanesbraut highway on the Reykjanes peninsula. The highway connects Greater Reykjavík with Keflavík International Airport.

“We ask people to remain calm and under no circumstances approach the site of the eruption or Reykjanesbraut,” the agency tweeted late Friday.

«First responders must be able to circulate freely to assess the situation. Scientists are working on evaluating the eruption, “he added.

The eruption comes after weeks of increased seismic activity on the peninsula. About 400 earthquakes were detected in the region on Thursday morning alone, according to the IMO.

“It is a somewhat less seismic activity compared to the previous mornings, in which the figures have been around 1,000 earthquakes,” the IMO added in a tweet on Thursday.

The office reported Friday night that “the eruption is considered small at this stage.”

According to IMO, the volcanic eruption is considered small at this stage: the eruptive fissure is approximately 500 meters long and the magma area is approximately one square kilometer.