According to data from the Icelandic Met Office, significant changes in the seismic activity was measured near Sundhnjúkar crater row north of Grindavík and deformation observed in the Reykjanes Peninsula yesterday afternoon. The seismic activity has moved south towards Grindavík. Based on how the seismic activity has evolved since 6 pm yesterday, along with results from GPS measurements, there is a likelihood that a magma intrusion has extended beneath Grindavík.
“The latest data from the Icelandic Met Office shows a considerable shift and a large magma flow that is forming and can open up and flow from the southwest to the northeast,” he says.
Not experienced anything like this in 50 years
All the residents in Grindavík were told to evacuate the town. The Red Cross, police and rescue-forces will remain in Grindavík into the night.
“It’s clear that we’re dealing with an event that Icelanders haven’t experienced since the eruption in Vestmannaeyjar. We’ve dealt with it together and we’ll dealt with it together,” Reynisson says.
He asks residents to keep their calm – this is no emergency evacuation. A decision has been made to make room for residents to take enough time.
The risk of a volcanic eruption remains high in Iceland.
Footage from Grindavík on Monday showed a giant crack running through the center of town.
JUST IN – Video shows massive crack emanating steam in the center of Grindavik town of Iceland as the Island nation braces for a potential volcanic eruption pic.twitter.com/C6pK2NkGmW
Just ANNOUNCED: All signs are pointing towards a large volcanic eruption in Iceland. There have been over 3,200 recorded earthquakes. Just look at this massive fissure that split a road apart in Grindavik, Iceland. (Brynjar Gunnarsson/AP) pic.twitter.com/p7S3nR3Bmj
“Some 900 earthquakes hit southern Iceland on Monday, adding to the tens of thousands of tremors that rattled the region in recent weeks as the country prepares for what could become a significant volcanic eruption,” Reuters reports.
Some 900 earthquakes hit southern Iceland on Monday, adding to the tens of thousands of tremors that rattled the region in recent weeks as the country prepares for what could become a significant volcanic eruption https://t.co/HqYYzR9OEYpic.twitter.com/LDooBeOsWW
Seismic activity in southwestern Iceland decreased in size and intensity on Monday, but the risk of a volcanic eruption remained significant, authorities said, after earthquakes and evidence of magma spreading underground in recent weeks.
Almost 4,000 people were evacuated over the weekend as authorities feared that molten rock would rise to the surface of the earth and potentially hit a coastal town and a geothermal power station.
Located between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates, among the largest on the planet, Iceland is a seismic and volcanic hot spot as the two plates move in opposite directions.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office said on Monday there was a “significant likelihood” of an eruption in coming days on or just off the Reykjanes peninsula near the capital Reykjavik, despite the size and intensity of earthquakes decreasing.
“We believe that this intrusion is literally hovering, sitting in equilibrium now just below the earth’s surface,” said Matthew James Roberts, director of the service and research division at the meteorological office.
“We have this tremendous uncertainty now. Will there be an eruption and if so, what sort of damage will occur?” he said.
Thorvaldur Thordarson, professor in vulcanology at the University of Iceland, said most recent data indicated a smaller risk of an eruption in the area around the town of Grindavik.