Iceland is in danger of a volcanic eruption as rumbling occurred at the Reykjanes peninsula. The residents have been evacuated but it is unknown when the can safely return home.
The rumbling occurred at the small town of Grindavik which is a fishing village. The seismic activity left a jagged crack running through the town with some area having an upward placement of one meter or more.
According to the Icelandic meteorological office, there is a significant likelihood that the eruption will occur somewhere along the 9-mile magma tunnel with the prime location being an area north of Grindavik, near the Hagafell mountain.
Iceland on tenterhooks
Grindavik has a population of 3,400 people and is located near the peninsula, some 31 miles south-west of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik.
The country’s most famous resort, the Blue Lagoon geothermal resort has also been closed and is expected to remain so at least until the end of November as a result of the looming threat of the volcano.
People from Grindavik have been allowed to go back to their homes for five minute intervals to rescue their valuables and pets.
There have been three eruptions in the Reykjanes peninsula since 2021, the volcanoes have previously been dormant for 800 years.
Iceland is located on a volcanic hotspot as it lies between Eurasian and North American tectonic plates which moves in opposing directions.
On November 20, between midnight and early afternoon the meteorological office detected some 900 earthquakes between Sundhnukur and Grindavik.
Iceland Prime Minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir said that the evacuation was done with the safety of resident in mind but said she sympathized with those who have had to leave their homes.
“As we can all imagine, it is a huge decision to ask people to leave their homes at short notice. We all feel how heavy this uncertainty rests on them. Efforts are being made to create a space so that residents can pick up the most necessary items in the building, but always with people’s safety as a priority.”
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