Iceland’s Civil Protection authority has declared a state of emergency following a series of earthquakes that may portend an imminent volcanic eruption.
“Significant changes” have been recorded in the accumulation of underground magma near the town of Grindavík, home to almost 4,000 people, according to the Meteorological Office (IMO). Given this, the local Police and the Civil Protection authority decided to evacuate Grindavik and declare a state of emergency.
“At this time, it is not possible to determine exactly if and where the magma could reach the surface. There are indications that a considerable amount of magma is moving in an area stretching from Sundhnjukagigum in the north towards Grindavik,” an IMO statement said.
They added that “the amount of magma involved is significantly greater than that observed in the major magma intrusions associated with the eruptions at Fagradalsfjall“More data are being collected to calculate models that provide a more accurate picture of the magma intrusion,” they clarified.
Thousands of tremors began shake the Reykjanes peninsula, where the Fagradalsfjall volcano is located, at the end of October. Fagradalsfjall is located about 40 kilometers from the capital, Reykjavík, and last erupted in 2021.
On Thursday, the popular Blue Lagoon geothermal pool was closed due to the risk posed to guests by tremors and staff stress.