Volcanic activity is a rather common thing in Iceland and usually it´s far away from where people live. But in 1973 a eruption started in Westman Island´s biggest island, Heimaey. The volcanic fissure on dry land was originally 1½ km (1 mile) long and situated about 300 m (1,000 feet) to the east of the houses in town of the island. The only pre-warnings of a pending eruption were two waves of earthquakes and no one connected them with what was to come. The inhabitants of Heimaey were woken by the police and firebrigade as they drove around, raising the alarm with their sirens. People streamed down to the docks. Fortunately the weather had been stormy the day before and most of the island´s fleet of 60-70 fishing boats had stayed in harbour. The boats ferried the town´s people to safety at the mainland. 360 houses were buried under ash and lava and many other damaged.
Here I´m standing on the edge of the lava from 1973 where it fell into the ocean and moss and few other plants have started to grow there
This only reminds us that when you live on a volcanic island you have to be prepared for everything