NewsVolcanic activity in Iceland. Residents had only 5 minutes to evacuate

Volcanic activity in Iceland. Residents had only 5 minutes to evacuate

Volcanic activity in Iceland. Residents had only 5 minutes to evacuate
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6:55 AM EST, November 14, 2023

The residents of Grindavík were only given a few minutes to collect their most valuable possessions before they were forced to evacuate their homes. Now begins the construction of protective barriers to defend the already devastated city from a possible lava flow. The eruption of the local volcano is expected at any moment.

The future of Grindavík's residents, who have been shaken by a series of quakes since Friday, remains uncertain. The earthquake was so powerful that it could be felt even in Reykjavik. In anticipation of the inevitable eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano, a state of emergency has been called. The Icelandic Meteorological Institute (IMO) has warned that the eruption could occur at any time, given the proximity of the magma, which is only about half a mile beneath the Earth's surface.

As a result of the tremors, roads, and buildings have been reduced to rubble in the city on the Reykjanes peninsula. An underground tunnel is now filled with magma. Photos and videos posted online show steam rising from the newly formed crevices.

Orders for an immediate evacuation

The officials issued an order for the city's evacuation, which lies about 1.86 miles from the epicenter of the seismic events. On Saturday, the residents were compelled to leave their belongings behind and flee. On Monday, they were given a few fleeting minutes to retrieve their most crucial possessions and valuables. Civil defense personnel escorted them to their homes, while a helicopter hovered over the city.

Commencement of protective wall construction

Although the seismic activity has already begun to decrease and the rate of ground deformation has also slowed down, the future of Grindavík remains uncertain. This admission was made by researcher Thorvaldur Thordarson in his recent interview with Icelandic broadcaster RUV.

On Monday, a law focusing on the protection of critical infrastructure on the Reykjanes Peninsula was enacted. Justice Minister Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir announced the erection of defensive walls around the Svartsengi power plant along with plans to rebuild the city.

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