Huge cracks appear on roads in Icelandic town at risk of volcanic eruption
Around 120 earthquakes have rocked the areas surrounding the town of Grindavik as they await a likely eruption, report the Icelandic Met Office.
Experts at the Icelandic Met Office have issued a key update after a study of data from GPS stations and satellite images showed an “uplift” continues in the area of Svartsengi, north of Grindavík.
The Met Office stated that the eruption is “still considered likely as the magma inflow continues”, adding that “the highest likelihood for an eruption is in the middle part of the dike between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell”.
Earthquake activity has also led to the deepening of the port at Grindavik, according to RUV.
The change in depth is because of the earthquakes’ impact, said the port manager Sigurður Arnar Kristmundsson.
He told RUV: “The docks seem to have sunk by 20-30 centimeters when we measured about 10 days ago and then there is a chance that, yes, the bottom has sunk accordingly.”
A fortnight ago, Grindavik was evacuated after magma-induced seismic activity tore vast chasms through the streets.
Eruption could occur near world famous Blue Lagoon
Until now, the focus of where any eruption could take place has been the dike in the area close to the evacuated town of Grindavik.
Iceland’s Met Office has now issued a detailed update after a series of earthquakes over the weekend and the start of this week that suggests it could be elsewhere.
It states that GPS data and satellite images show the “uplift” continues in the area of Svartseng, which is next to the Blue Lagoon attraction, around three miles north of Grindavik.
“In light of the available data and the newest analysis, an eruption along the dike is still considered likely as long as the magma inflow continues,” a spokesperson said.
“It is assessed that the area with the highest likelihood for an eruption is in the middle part of the dike between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell.”
Both Hagafell and Sýlingarfell are north of Grindavik, and are about four miles apart from each other.
Sam Rkaina29 November 2023 07:50
Blue Lagoon prolongs closure
Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon has temporarily closed all its facilities in the wake of ongoing earthquake activity in the area.
Blue Lagoon said the geothermal spa will remain shut till 7 December and the situation will be reassessed.
“On November 9, Blue Lagoon made the proactive decision to temporarily close its facilities, affecting operations at Blue Lagoon, Silica Hotel, Retreat Spa, Retreat Hotel, Lava, and Moss Restaurant,” it said.
“Considering disruptions to our guests’ experience and the sustained pressure on our employees, these precautionary measures were taken to ensure safety and wellbeing for all.”
Shweta Sharma2 December 2023 08:00
Is it safe to travel to Iceland? Your rights if you have a holiday booked
The town of Grindavík, just 10 miles south of Keflavik International Airport, has been evacuated as a precaution.
Our travel correspondent Simon Calder writes.
Shweta Sharma2 December 2023 07:00
‘Ham still on the stove’ A restaurant owner returns to open up first Grindavik business since earthquake
Good news from Grindavík: the first restaurant has reopened – but only from 11.30am to 1.30pm.
Vilhjálmur Jóhann Lárusson, owner of Varar’s Seaman’s Club finally opened his doors again to guests despite more holes opening up around the town.
Vilhjálmur says there was no damage to the restaurant, but when the town was evacuated, the workers were busy preparing a Christmas buffet that was supposed to be on Saturday evening, so the ham was still in the pot when the staff came out.
He told MBL: “We are still grateful for good food as we are tired of sandwiches after three weeks.”
He welcomed around 150 people at the restaurant for lunch on Thursday.
Barney Davis2 December 2023 06:17
Terrifying video shows Grindavik resident discovering another huge hole
In heart-stopping footage taken on Thursday residents almost fall into a collapsing floor uncovering an enormous hole where the soil has fallen away into a magma tunnel forming under Grindavik.
Barney Davis2 December 2023 05:00
Met says inflammation in Svartsengi continues ‘at a fairly stable rate’
Icelandic Met Office has said the “seismicity on the peninsula continues to decrease” but signs of magma movement and inflation persist.
“For the past few days, the automatic earthquake location system has been detecting relatively few earthquakes, mostly micro-earthquakes below magnitude one. The most recent seismicity is concentrated in the area between Sýlingarfell and Hagafell, where most likely the dike is fed by magma accumulating beneath Svartsengi,” it said in the latest update.
It added that although the seismic activity in the region around the dike is currently at a low level, the inflation process, likely associated with the movement of magma beneath the surface, continues steadily.
“Even though the activity along the dike and its vicinity is now occurring at very low intensity, the inflation which started in Svartsengi few days after the dike formed, continues at a fairly stable rate,” it said.
“Some cGPS stations around Svartsengi and Mt Þorbjörn show a slow declining trend, but other stations still show a constant trend suggesting that the inflow rate of magma at depth has not reduced significantly.”
Shweta Sharma2 December 2023 04:17
Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano
But the volunteer rescue forces posted on guard duty in battering 32mph winds have to follow the strict instructions of Iceland’s tourist minister. There is a lot of high-speed arguing in Icelandic, and eventually we pass through.
The coach is carrying the world’s media for the first time since the initial 5.2-magnitude earthquake gripped the globe’s attention. But after days of stalemate, fears of Iceland’s economy tanking, and rumours spreading of the entire country disappearing beneath the Atlantic, the government has reluctantly allowed the press to visit the site.
Shweta Sharma2 December 2023 03:45
Live stream of earthquake activity near Grindavik
Live waterfall plot of 20 seconds of raw data from a DAS deployment in a dark fibre. The interrogator is located at the Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant and the cable stretches all the way down to the sea west of Grindavik (see yellow line in the figure). The red line in the top left figure shows the approximate location of the dike intrusion.
Barney Davis2 December 2023 03:17
25m hole opens up in Grindavik as residents prepare to return
The land is still unstable around Grindavik with a 25m deep hole opening up at Hópbraut yesterday. Scientists were studying the hole and measuring it when photographers arrived.
“The hole you have here is naturally representative of the cracks that have formed here, because everything is falling apart.
“The soil does not go with the solid rock when it breaks and then it is crushed into the crack. This crack we have here is about 25.7 meters down to the water table.
“Which means that it is naturally deeper if you go into the lake itself,” Ármann Höskuldsson, research professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland told RUV.
Barney Davis2 December 2023 01:20
Danger posed to workers as new hole opens up close to Grindavik
A new hole opened up underneath an excavator working around the great chasm that appeared in Grindavík.
“I’m working on a crawler around the big crack and fixing pipes. I was going over it and then it sank under me,” Henry Ásgeirsson, a digger for Jóni and Margeiri told MBL.
He says the area is all cracked and really dangerous.
A colleague Jón Berg Reynisson, took photographs of the opening.
“We never know what lies ahead of us in these jobs, but there the hole was not bigger. The earth can sink down and we don’t know how deep and wide it is,” he says.
“We try to be careful, but anything can happen in this area.”
Barney Davis1 December 2023 23:17