Iceland. Risk of eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano. The city was evacuated
Icelandic authorities declared a state of emergency and the town of Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula near the country’s capital was evacuated after a series of strong earthquakes. The tremors raised fears of an eruption of the nearby Fagradalsfjall volcano.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) reported that almost 800 earthquakes were recorded on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the southwest of the country on Friday between midnight and 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. in Poland). The greatest seismic activity was observed north of the city of Grindavik. Nearby there is the Fagradalsfjall volcano, which has been active for two years, and several thousand tremors have been recorded in recent weeks. According to experts, they were caused by stresses caused by the accumulation of magma.
The city was evacuated
Authorities called on residents of the city of Gindavik, home to approximately 4,000 people, to mandatory evacuation. As explained, the decision was made out of concern that large amounts of magma, probably located under the city, might leak to the surface. The media reported on Saturday that “the evacuation was successful.”
The Department of Civil Protection and Crisis Management explained that “there is no immediate threat and the evacuation is primarily preventive in nature.” A state of emergency has been introduced.
Fagradalsfjall eruption possible in ‘few days’
According to the IMO, the volcano may erupt in “a few days”. Fagradalsfjall last erupted in July.
On Friday, around 5:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. in Poland), two earthquakes were felt in the capital, Reykjavik, approximately 50 km away, and across most of the country’s southern coast. According to the IMO, the strongest quakes had a magnitude of 5.2.
On Thursday, due to increased seismic activity, the Blue Lagoon, a health resort with thermal pools and a popular tourist attraction located near the city of Grindavik, was closed.
The Guardian, BBC, icelandreview.com, tvnmeteo.pl
Main photo source: Halldor KOLBEINS/AFP/EastNews