During the night, just before 03:00 local time, there was an increase in seismic activity near the town of Grindavík. Soon after an immediate evacuation was ordered. At 07:57 a volcanic eruption began near the town.
The inhabitants had been allowed to return after the end of the previous eruption but many had yet to do so. There had already been signs of activity and the town was supposed to be evacuated by Monday.
As I write this, the lava-flow is about 450m (about a third of mile) from the edge of town.
In the 17th century, Iceland was thrown into a panic about witchcraft. My ancestor Einar Nikulásson lived through almost the exact period of the “age of burning” and has gone down in folklore as “Galdrameistari” or “master of sorcery”. These stories also implicated his descendants, especially Þórarinn Einarson, Jón Einarsson and Einar Jónsson (the last two are also my ancestors).
This episode explores these stories and the reputations of these real men, earned and unearned.