Vestmannaeyjar is an archipelago by Iceland’s south coast and consists of 14 islands and numerous rock stacks and skerries
Heimaey is the only inhabited one, and is home to just over 4,000 hard-working people who’ve seen their share of nature’s powers. In January 1973, volcano Eldfell erupted and forced inhabitants to evacuate overnight to the mainland, where they had to wait out the lava flow for five months. Remarkably, there were no casualties. Most islanders returned to Heimaey in the summer of 1973 and have rebuilt their community while continuing to commemorate the eruption and holding on to the matter-of-fact, ready-for-anything attitude that often characterizes people who must be ready to pack up and leave at a moment’s notice.