The “unusual, very active” cluster of earthquakes that began on Wednesday are back for another round, as ten quakes—at the time of this writing—with a magnitude of greater than 3 have so far rattled southwest Iceland, all of them localised in the Reykjanes peninsula.
The first one in this range was a 3.2, which struck at 8:37 Icelandic time just east of Fagradalsjall. The cluster began in earnest at around noon, and are still ongoing, with the largest recorded so far measuring 4.4.
As reported, earthquakes are fairly continuous in Iceland, as the entire country lies on a fault line. The vast majority of these do not reach a magnitude of 3 on most days. However, experts have said that this latest batch of activity is both unusual and very active, but there are no signs yet of an imminent volcanic eruption.
Nonetheless, Kristín Jónsdóttir, who leads a natural disasters work group at the Icelandic Met Office, told RÚV that this activity has been powerful and unusual. She said that Civic Protection has met about the matter and concluded that “we are in the midst of an event right now and while things are unstable there is an increased chance of more and even stronger quakes.”
Measurements of seismic activity from Kleifarvatn to Bláfjall were recorded that have not registered any quakes at all this year. “This may indicate that the area is seized up and will not break without a larger earthquake,” she said. “There have been larger quakes there, up to 6.5, so we need to ready ourselves for larger quakes”.
The Grapevine will keep you apprised of any significant developments. You can also follow the data in real time on the home page of the Icelandic Met Office.
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