Huge cracks appear on roads in Icelandic town at risk of volcanic eruption
Magma may have reached very high up in the earth’s crust, according to Iceland’s meteorological office which says people will have to “wait in suspense for the next few days” to see how events play out.
“While there is still magma flow into the corridor, and while our data and models show that, that probability is imminent, and we really just have to wait in suspense for the next few days to see what happens,” Kristín Jónsdóttir, head of department at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, said.
She said the decreasing earthquake activity over the last 24 hours could be a sign that magma has reached very high up in the earth’s crust, adding that the scenario is not unlike what was seen prior to a previous eruption in 2021.
The 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.
Magma ‘very close’ to surface, Met Office says
The magma intrusion continues to deepen and widen, indicating it has reached high up in the earth’s crust, according to Kristín Jónsdóttir, the head of the volcanic activity department at the Icelandic Met Office.
“While model calculations still indicate that magma flows into the intrusion, it must be considered probable that an eruption will occur,” the seismologist said, according to local news.
The greatest widening is in an area west of Hagafell, which is the most likely place for an eruption, according to the Met Office.
Vishwam Sankaran19 November 2023 04:00
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
It may be long time before residents can move back, officials say
It could be a long time before it is safe to move back into Grindavík due to damages to houses and pipes, Víðir Reynisson, director of the civil defense department, said yesterday.
“This plus uncertainty about earthquakes means that Grindvíkings have to prepare to live elsewhere in the coming months,” Mr Reynisson said.
A rescue worker told local news that at least about twenty houses in the town are badly damaged and need a lot of repairs.
More than 1,200 families in the town need to be given a shelter, Grindavík mayor Fannar Jónasson said, adding that “it will take days and weeks to resolve issues so that everyone can enjoy themselves.”
Vishwam Sankaran19 November 2023 07:30
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The town of Grindavík, just 10 miles south of Keflavik International Airport, has been evacuated as a precaution.
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Holly Evans19 November 2023 07:00
Costs for housing measures will be significant, Iceland PM says
The government’s costs for new housing for Grindvíking residents will be significant, says Iceland prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir.
With 600 housing requests still outstanding, the prime minister told local news that the government would first “work with what is available,” but also needs to consider building new housing.
“There, we have also been looking at things that can possibly be done faster, such as modular houses that do meet all quality requirements, which could then be built relatively quickly to respond to this situation,” Ms Jakobsdóttir said.
“The authorities have been in conversation with the financial companies about going further, as these are completely unique circumstances,” she added.
Vishwam Sankaran19 November 2023 06:30
Biggest volcanic eruptions in the last 10 years as Iceland town faces devastation
It comes as the country has been shaken by more than 880 small earthquakes, prompting fears that the tremors could disrupt the Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula in the southwest of the country.
Read the full article here
Holly Evans19 November 2023 06:00
‘Design for defence wall to protect Grindavík ready’
The design for a wall to protect Grindavík from lava flow is ready and its construction can be started quickly should situation arise, Víðir Reynisson, the director of civil defense, said yesterday.
“The position of a dike has been marked based on this scenario that lava would start to flow from this place, which is considered the most likely at the moment,” Mr Reynisson said.
“No construction has been started, but we are waiting for a more detailed risk assessment and the probability that this could actually happen,” he added.
The director of civil dense said teams are prepared to “grab all the equipment that is there” and go into emergency operations to “slow down or divert the lava near Grindavík.”
Vishwam Sankaran19 November 2023 05:30
Sequence of events similar to 2021 eruption, Met Office says
The current sequence of events in Grindvíking is similar to the one that happened on the eve of the volcanic eruption in Geldingadálar in 2021, says Icelandic Meteorological Office head of department Kristín Jónsdóttir.
“That’s when we saw a very large reduction in deformation and seismicity, and then there was an eruption,” she told local news.
“The magma is probably quite shallow, and maybe it doesn’t take much conflict for it to erupt,” the seismologist said, adding that “we really just have to wait in suspense for the next few days to see what happens.”
There is still a “high probability of a volcanic eruption,” according to the Met Office.
Vishwam Sankaran19 November 2023 05:00
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Vishwam Sankaran19 November 2023 04:30
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.