Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) is an archipelago off the south coast of Iceland.The largest, and only inhabited island, is Heimaey. It has a population of 4,135. In total there are 15 islands, and about 30 rock stacks and skerries, all formed in submarine volcanic eruptions. Vestmannaeyjar came to international attention in 1973 with the eruption of Eldfell volcano on Heimaey, which destroyed about one fifth of the town and forced a months-long evacuation of the entire population to mainland Iceland. During the eruption Heimaey grew by about 2.1 square kilometres and a 200-metre-high mountain was formed where a meadow had been. It lasted for 155 days and the lava flow was finally halted by application of 6.8 billion litres of cold sea water. There was only one casualty.