GRINDAVIK, Iceland - Iceland officials say an eruption has started north of Grindavík. This comes after a volcanic eruption was feared for weeks as tens of thousands of earthquakes rumbled throughout the region in late October and November.
The Icelandic Meteorologic Office (IMO) warned of the eruption late Monday evening following a swarm of earthquakes.
The eruption could be seen on webcams and located near Hagafell, but officials say they are working to confirm the exact location and size of the eruption by air.
The IMO has been warning of the possible eruption ever since a swarm of "intense" earthquakes was detected north of Grindavík at the end of October.
In the weeks that followed, tens of thousands of earthquakes rumbled throughout the region. That then led to the declaration of a state of emergency and the evacuation of Grindavík and its nearly 3,700 residents.
The popular tourist destination Blue Lagoon also shut down amid fears that the volcano would erupt.
Grindavík's waiting game
Grindavík was evacuated on Nov. 10, but a decision to let residents return to gather belongings left behind was made two days later. At that time, residents in an eastern district of Grindavík returned to gather what they could, including pets, and then retreat back to safety.
More residents in a different district were then allowed to return on the morning of November 13 before all residents were told they could go back later that day.
Strict rules were in place, however.
For instance, only one person per household was allowed back inside Grindavík, and only if they were accompanied by a first responder.
They were also given only about 5 minutes to gather what they could before they were told to leave.
Residents who were unable to return on those days were given another opportunity on Nov. 14, but that was short-lived as gas meters in the area began to detect an increased level of sulfur dioxide, leading officials to quickly evacuate the area.
Signs of an impending volcanic eruption
In addition to the earthquakes that were detected across the region, the IMO said a graben-like formation of about 3 feet sliced through parts of Grindavík due to magma intrusion.
The USGS defines a graben as a piece of the Earth’s crust that has shifted downward in comparison to adjacent crusts known as horsts which are shifted upward.
Large cracks then formed across the region that destroyed roads in and around Grindavík, which continued to widen as the hours and days passed.
Photos and videos showed the extent of the damage to the roads and even showed steam that was beginning to rise from beneath the surface.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates. Read more of this story from FOX Weather.