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REYKJAVIK: Iceland’s spectacular, two-week old volcanic eruption entered a new phase Monday as television pictures showed a fresh fissure had opened up and begun spitting out lava.

The 200-metre (yards) long fissure, is a kilometre from the first eruption, which sits in the Geldingadalur valley, said an Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) statement. It opened up around midday local time (1200 GMT), the IMO added.

Live television footage on state broadcaster RUV showed small amounts of smoking orange magma on the ground. The new stream of lava is running down into another valley, called Merardalir. Images released by Iceland’s Civil Protection office showed a long, thin stream of magma flowing down through the hills for hundreds of metres from the new fissure, the whole scene shrouded in fumes.

The Meteorological Office said helicopters were making sure people had evacuated the site and that scientists were on their way to evaluate the crack.