Huge cracks appear on roads in Icelandic town at risk of volcanic eruption
Iceland has recorded about 2,000 mini-earthquakes in the space of 24 hours as officials warn that a volcano is close to erupting, most likely close to the mountainous region of Hagafell in the “coming days”.
Iceland’s Met Office said magmatic gas has been detected at a borehole in Svartsengi, signalling an imminent eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano over the coming days, with the town of Grindavik most at risk. “Hagafell is thought to be a prime location for an eruption,” the forecaster said.
An eruption is now feared by many experts to be a case of when, not if.
“I do think an eruption will take place, but the big question is when that might happen,” Dr Margaret Hartley, of the University of Manchester, told Live Science.
An eruption would take place when an open fracture connecting the magma dike to the Earth’s surface opens up. “The process is a bit like shaking up a can of fizzy drink – as soon as a crack opens in the top of the can, the drink escapes with lots of frothing,” said Dr Hartley.
Pinned post: Officials reveal most likely location for volcanic eruption
The most likely site for volcanic eruption in Iceland is near the mountainous region of Hagafell, according to the Icelandic meteorological office.
Latest models based on GPS data and satellite imagery suggest the largest magma intrusion movements are occurring north of Grindavík, near Hagafell, the Met Office said.
“If magma manages to reach the surface, Hagafell is thought to be a prime location for an eruption,” it said, adding that seismicity related to the magma intrusion remains constant.
About 2,000 mini quakes have been recorded in the last 24 hours the largest of which occurred near Hagefell and had a magnitude of 3.0.
Most of the earthquake activity is still being recorded in an area north of Hagafel, the Met Office noted.
Athena Stavrou18 November 2023 03:40
Pinned post: Thousands of quakes recorded in single day
Over 2,000 quakes have been recorded in Iceland with continued land deformation on Friday, according to the country’s meteorological office.
The most likely scenario, according to the Iceland Met Office volcanism head Kristín Jónsdóttir, is eruption beginning in the “next few days.”
Experts say the eruption site is likely NE of Grindavík where ground deformation is happening more acutely, but it is still not entirely sure when and where it may happen, according to the Met Office.
Athena Stavrou18 November 2023 03:12
Residents briefly return to Grindavik one week after it was first evacuated
Some residents of the evacuated town of Grindavik have been allowed to return home to collect valuables and tend to pets today.
Locals have been allowed to enter the town in small numbers for a short amount of time every day since Monday, after the town was first evacuated on Saturday.
Throughout the week, queues of cars were pictured on the road leading to the town, which has been ‘split in two’ by thousands of earthquakes in recent weeks.
Athena Stavrou18 November 2023 11:26
Pictures: Town split in two after being hit by thousands of earthquakes
Athena Stavrou18 November 2023 10:43
Civil Defence meeting to be held
Iceland’s Civil Defence will hold an information session at 1pm today.
The meeting will be held at a rescue centre near the evacuated area and will give local residents the opportunity to ask questions.
Attendees will include the prime minister of Iceland and Icelandic Met Office officials.
Athena Stavrou18 November 2023 09:38
No eruption as of Saturday morning
No eruption has taken place as of Saturday morning, but as earthquakes continue the chance of one is still likely.
Over 340 earthquakes have been recorded in the area since midnight, according to a specialist in the Icelandic Meteorological Office.
Seismic activity decreased around 9pm last night but has since returned to the same level it had been.
Athena Stavrou18 November 2023 09:11
Telecom companies coordinate to keep systems working
The staff of telecom companies are working together with the Iceland national “emergency line” to keep communications systems working in order, according to local news.
They are also reportedly coordinating to upgrade the systems to ensure they can withstand the stress of increased seismic activity in the region.
“All the telecommunications companies are cooperating. There is extremely good cooperation going on in all operations and it has been for the past week,” telecom company Mila’s technical director Daði Sigurðarson said.
Vishwam Sankaran18 November 2023 08:00
Volunteers race to rescue pets as eruption imminent in ‘coming days’
Volunteers have rescued hundreds of animals from Grindavik over the week as Iceland’s meteorological department officials warn that volcanic eruption is imminent in the “coming days.”
The organisation noted that over the last week, it has rescued a number of animals from the quake-rattled town, including cats, hamsters, pigeons, sheep, frogs, hamsters, and shrimp.
“The owners and people in Grindavík have been very involved in getting the animals out with excellent results,” Dýrfinna og Hundasveitin, an association that helps lost animals, posted on X.
“The actions of the last few days have been characterized by a great struggle for the animals who do not have a voice and their owners,” it said.
Vishwam Sankaran18 November 2023 07:30
Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?
Simon Calder answers your questions on aviation, the land of ice and fire, and birthday in Albania:
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Emily Foster is a globe-trotting journalist based in the UK. Her articles offer readers a global perspective on international events, exploring complex geopolitical issues and providing a nuanced view of the world’s most pressing challenges.