Iceland braces for potential volcano eruption

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.12 - 2023 9:58 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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Iceland is on high alert as experts warn that a volcano near the southwestern town of Grindavik could erupt imminently, prompting the evacuation of 3,000 residents.

According to The Independant, the Icelandic Meteorological Office has highlighted a 'considerable' risk of eruption, and Thorvaldur Thordarson, a volcanology professor at the University of Iceland, indicated that the eruption could occur within hours or days.

The fishing town of Grindavik, home to approximately 3,400 people, is currently under a state of emergency following significant seismic activity in the area.

This activity has moved south towards the town, with a magma corridor extending beneath the community. Authorities have raised aviation alerts to orange, indicating an increased likelihood of an eruption.

The UK Foreign Office has issued warnings to British travelers, stating that a volcanic eruption in the area is 'increasingly possible.'

The Reykjanes Peninsula, where Grindavik is located, has been experiencing a surge in earthquake activity, including a notable 4.8 magnitude quake earlier this week.

A Civil Protection Alert was declared after an intense swarm of earthquakes on November 10, leading to the precautionary evacuation of Grindavik. The renowned Blue Lagoon geothermal resort has also temporarily closed due to the seismic activity.

The region has witnessed hundreds of small earthquakes daily for over two weeks, as scientists monitor the buildup of magma about three miles underground.

The seismic activity began in an area north of Grindavik, where there is a network of ancient craters. The magma corridor, now approximately six miles long and spreading, is being closely monitored by geologists and local authorities.

Residents and visitors have been advised to stay away from the area, and authorities continue to monitor the situation closely.

The potential eruption poses a significant risk, and all precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of the inhabitants and travelers in the region.

Watch lava flows out of Fagradallsfjall volcano in Iceland here:

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