The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management (Almannavarnir) has announced the activation of the “uncertainty” level due to the recent spate of earthquakes in the Reykjanes peninsula.
The uncertainty level indicates a time of instability; that conditions do not yet warrant declaring an emergency, but that scientists and rescue workers are closely monitoring the situation as conditions indicate that they could turn more serious. At the same time, the public is also advised to take certain precautions.
There have been 14 earthquakes of a magnitude of 3 or greater since Saturday afternoon, the largest of those being a 4.3 on Sunday afternoon, located 5.4km west-north-west of Grindavík at a depth of 5.2km.
“Residents are encouraged to secure loose items which may fall during an earthquake, especially those which can fall on people in their sleep,” Almannavarnir states. “The Icelandic Meteorological Office has also called attention to falling rocks or landslides that can occur suddenly on slopes, so it is good to take special care by steep slopes.”
Kristín Jónsdóttir, group leader of nature monitoring at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, told RÚV that these earthquakes are most likely due to magma movement. When asked if this may lead to a volcanic eruption, she said, “Of course nothing is unthinkable, that it could end with an eruption, but it is all too early to say so.”
The Grapevine will keep you updated of any new seismic events if and when they arise.
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