Emergency declared over possible eruption of Iceland volcano

by IANS |

Reykjavik, Nov 13 (IANS) After a series of recent earthquakes, authorities in Iceland have declared an emergency over a possible volcanic eruption, posing a threat to a now-evacuated town.



The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said there was a considerable risk of an eruption with authorities ordering thousands of people living in the southwestern town of Grindavík to leave as a precaution, reports the BBC.


In a statement, the IMO said the probability of an eruption on or just off the Reykjanes Peninsula increased since Sunday morning and an could start at any time in the next few days.


Reykjanes Peninsula, had remained dormant to volcanic activity for 800 years before a 2021 eruption.


Since October, more than 20,000 tremors have been recorded in southwest Iceland.


The IMO also said that a tunnel of magma, or molten rock, that extends northeast across Grindavík and some 10km further inland, was estimated at a depth of less than 800 metres, compared with 1,500 metres earlier in the day.


On November 9, the increased seismic activity in the area prompted the closure of the nearby Blue Lagoon landmark.


Iceland is one of the most geologically active regions in the world, with around 30 active volcanic sites, the BBC reported.


Volcanic eruptions occur when magma, which is lighter than the solid rock around it, rises to the earth's surface from deep below it.


In July, Litli-Hrutur, or Little Ram, erupted in the Fagradalsfjall area, drawing tourists to the site of the "world's newest baby volcano".


The site was dormant for eight centuries until eruptions in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

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