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Laki, Lakagigar

Region: Highland
Coordinates: 64.0707° N 18.2378° W

The 25 km long crater row called Lakagigar was created during a relatively short, intensive, and catastrophic eruption between the 8th of June 1783 and February 1784. It was among the biggest and poisonous lava eruptions of the earth during historical times. It created two vast lava fields with a total area of 565 km², and the total volume of tephra emitted was estimated to have been 12,3 km³. The consequences were enormous. Between 53% and 82% of the domestic animals and 20% of the human population perished as a result.

As Iceland was under Danish rule at the time, it was debated in the Danish parliament to evacuate the remaining 40.000 Icelanders, and find them new homes in Jutland, but the Icelanders would hear nothing of that. Most of the craters are now covered with Woolly Fringe Moss and the landscape is, to say the least, picturesque. The crater area was proclaimed inviolate in 1971. The Laki Area is now a part of the National Park Skaftafell.

For information on road conditions, see www.road.is or call the Road Administration Information Line (+354) 1777

Photo Credit: Chmee2/Valtameri

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