NewsIceland evacuates city as a volcano threatens: Over a thousand earthquakes

Iceland evacuates city as a volcano threatens: Over a thousand earthquakes

Volcano eruption in Grindavik, Iceland
Volcano eruption in Grindavik, Iceland
Images source: © GETTY | Anadolu Agency
ed. MUP
3:21 PM EST, November 11, 2023

The AFP agency reports that a sequence of strong earthquakes has shaken the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland. This has raised concerns about a potential volcano eruption. Consequently, the country's authorities declared a state of emergency on November 10.

"The National Police Commissioner has declared a state of emergency for civil defense due to the intense earthquake activity in Sundhnjukagigar, north of Grindavik," stated the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management of Iceland.

Authorities have alerted about the possibility of intensified earthquakes that may result in a volcano eruption. The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) anticipated the eruption could occur "in a few days".

Grindavik residents evacuated

After serious consideration, the Icelandic Department of Civil Protection has ordered a mandatory evacuation of Grindavik. Home to approximately 4,000 residents, the town is situated roughly 1.86 miles southwest of the earthquake's epicenter.

"There has been an observable movement of seismic activity towards Grindavík. Based on seismic activity progression observed since 1 pm ET today, along with GPS measurement findings, it seems likely that magma flow has infiltrated underneath Grindavík." This was pointed out by the Met Office in a recent statement.

The Svartsengi geothermal power station, which mainly supplies water and electricity to peninsula residents, has been brought to a halt.

The extraordinary alarm level has been triggered by the Department of Civil Protection. This is in response to an event that is already in progress and has the potential to, or already has, caused damage to people, communities, property, or the environment. Immediate actions are being taken at this stage to ensure safety, preserve lives, and prevent casualties, damages, or losses.

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