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Video: Lava destroys homes in Iceland as president says country faces daunting period [Video]

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REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland’s president said the country is battling “tremendous forces of nature” after molten lava from a volcano in the island’s southwest consumed several houses in the evacuated town of Grindavik.

Scientists said Monday that the eruption appeared to be dying down, but it was too soon to declare the danger over.

President Gudni Th. Johannesson said in a televised address late Sunday that “a daunting period of upheaval has begun on the Reykjanes peninsula” where a long-dormant volcanic system has awakened.

A volcano on the peninsula erupted for the second time in less than a month on Sunday, with orange lava bursting through two fissures near the fishing town of Grindavik. Authorities had ordered residents to leave hours earlier as a swarm of small earthquakes indicated an imminent eruption.

The nearby Blue Lagoon geothermal spa — one of Iceland’s biggest tourist attractions — also shut and said it would remain closed until at least Tuesday.

Grindavik, a town of 3,800 people about 50 …

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