Thousands of people flocked to see the erupting southwestern Iceland volcano throughout the weekend to see the lava flows from a safe distance, take pictures and capture drone video of the lava and terrain.
Although the site was initially blocked, the flowing lava attracted many visitors and scientists to the Reykjanes Peninsula after people were allowed to make the trek from Saturday afternoon, BBC reported.
The volcano, which was dormant for nearly 800 years, began to spring with a burst through a crack in Mount Fagradalsfjall on Friday (19 March) evening.
"It's absolutely breath-taking," Ulvar Kari Johannsson, a 21-year-old engineer, told the AFP news agency.
"It smells pretty bad. For me what was surprising was the colours of the orange: much, much deeper than what one would expect," he added.
Scientists at the foot of the volcano were filmed cooking sausages on its lava as they studied the eruption.
Icelanders had been bracing themselves for an eruption for several weeks, after the island nation recorded more than 50,000 recent earthquakes.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office reported that Friday's eruption took place about three miles inland from the coast and did not pose any serious danger to residents in the area. The office said that earthquakes in the region over the last couple of weeks are what set off the eruption.
On Saturday, over 500 earthquakes were recorded. The strongest was a recorded 2.8 magnitude, according to the meteorological office.
Around 300,000 cubic metres (10.5 million cubic feet) of lava have poured out, experts say, but the eruption is deemed to be relatively small and controlled.
By Monday, the site was blocked again due to high levels of gas pollution.Rescue teams were deployed over the weekend to aid hikers who got lost, according to the meteorological office. One person had to be hospitalized for their injuries, ABC News reported.
The meteorological experts added that there is no current threat to air quality from the eruption and it will not affect flights, but they will monitor the situation.
Earlier, the volcano erupted near Iceland's capital Reykjavik, shooting lava high into the night sky.
The eruption occurred near Fagradalsfjall, a mountain on the Reykjanes Peninsula, around 30 km (19 miles) southwest of the capital.
Some four hours after the initial eruption at 2045 GMT - the first on the peninsula since the 12th century - lava covered about one square kilometer or nearly 200 football fields.