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23 June, 2024
 
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Icelandic authorities brace for eruption following earthquakes and magma surge

Iceland on high alert as volcanic threat looms in the southwest

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Icelandic authorities are bracing for a potential volcanic eruption in the southwest of the island following a series of earthquakes and signs of rapidly spreading magma underground. The Icelandic Meteorological Office has deemed the risk of an eruption in or near the Reykjanes peninsula as "considerable," citing the substantial size of the underground magma intrusion and its rapid movement.

According to a Reuters report, the Civil Protection Agency has ordered the evacuation of Grindavik, a town with approximately 3,000 residents. The anticipated eruption is expected to occur on the seabed just southwest of Grindavik. A magma tunnel extending northeast across Grindavik has been measured at a depth of less than 800 meters. Increased seismic activity earlier prompted the closure of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a major tourist attraction.

The Reykjanes region, a volcanic and seismic hotspot, has experienced eruptions in unpopulated areas in recent years, with the latest threat emerging in the Fagradalsfjall volcanic system. The system, dormant for over 6,000 years before recent eruptions, saw lava fountains in March 2021 and subsequent eruptions in August 2022 and July 2023.

[Information sourced from Reuters and Icelandic Review]

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Cyprus  |  Iceland  |  Europe  |  volcano  |  eruption

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