Iceland volcano eruption live: Stormy weather disrupts monitoring systems

Huge cracks appear on roads in Icelandic town at risk of volcanic eruption

Authorities in Iceland fear stormy weather conditions could affect monitoring systems as the country awaits an “imminent” volcanic eruption.

Just 165 small tremors have been recorded in the affected region since midnight on Monday, compared to the thousands that jolted the town of Grindavik in the days prior.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) says the volcano could erupt with just 30 minutes’ notice as magma is now sitting just below the earth’s surface.

The wait for the eruption is gripping the country, with thousands glued to a live stream showing a glowing red rift in the ground running through Grindavik.

The IMO said it is likely the adverse weather conditions are impacting “both the sensitivity of earthquake detection and real-time GPS monitoring”.

Kristín Jónsdóttir, a senior IMO official, said people will “just have to wait in suspense for the next few days” to see how events play out.

She said decreasing earthquake activity could also be a sign that magma has reached very close to the earth’s surface, adding that the scenario is not unlike what was seen prior to a previous eruption in 2021.


Businesses operating in Grindavik to receive housing assistance

Companies and businesses operating in the small fishing town of Grindavik would be able to request assistance in finding housing.

Companies are urged to register information related to their business on the website

They have been asked to fill in the minimum requirement in square metres and the “number of employees at the company that need work facilities on the premises”.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 November 2023 05:00


Area near power plant entering ‘new eruption phase’, says volcanologist

The area near the Svartsengi power plant has entered a “new eruption phase”, an Icelandic volcanologist has suggested.

The land near the power plant is swelling as a chamber some 4.5 kilometres below the surface fills with magma at a rate of around 50 cubic metres per second, according to Professor Thorvaldur Thordarson – in a repeat of the events which saw huge fissures appear in the ground earlier this month.

“I think the likelihood of an eruption in the northern part of the Sundhnúkar crater row or in Illahraun lava increasing every day. I think the likelihood of an eruption there is increasing because of the land rise in that area,” Professor Thordarson told Iceland Monitor.

He added: “We’re in a new and a changed situation and we’ve entered a new the eruption phase, and so it’s very constructive for us to think about what kind of preventive measures we can take. What can we do before an eruption occurs that will help us reduce its impact on society and infrastructure?”

Alexander Butler22 November 2023 04:30


Roads crack open in Grindavik

This image taken with a drone shows cracks at an intersection in the town of Grindavik, Iceland


A member of search and rescue team jumps over the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik


Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 November 2023 04:00


Fewer earthquakes recorded ahead of ‘imminent’ volcanic eruption

Just 165 earthquakes, all below magnitude 2 on the Richter scale, were recorded on Tuesday ahead of the anticipated volcanic eruption, the Icelandic Met Office (IMO) said.

This is considerably fewer than in the last few days when 1,500-1,800 earthquakes were recorded per day.

However, officials said this did not necessarily mean that seismic activity had reduced.

“It can be expected that the intense weather passing over the country has an impact on the sensitivity of the seismic monitoring system to detect the smallest earthquakes, making it difficult to assess whether the seismic activity is decreasing overall,” the Met Office said.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 November 2023 03:30


Iceland braces for ‘imminent’ volcanic eruption with just 30 minutes warning

Iceland watches on helplessly as rescue workers escorting locals back to the evacuated fishing town of Grindavik say it is “now a waiting game” before an eruption.

Gripped viewers are glued to state broadcaster RUV as it plays a live stream of the glowing crater with modern Icelandic electronic music underneath as the countdown continued on Tuesday.

It comes as 1,200 households scramble to grab as many “heartfelt” objects as they can under observation from rescue teams from the town above the volatile Reykjanes Peninsula.

The police checkpoint lies 25km (15.5 miles) away from the town but only 12km (7.5 miles) from cracks starting to form across the roads and stretching far into the mountains.

Barney Davis reports from Rejkavik.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 November 2023 03:00


Ground near power plant swells as chamber beneath floods with magma

The land near the Svartsengi power plant is now rising even faster than it did prior to the subterranean events which led to huge cracks appearing in the ground there earlier this month, a volcanologist has said.

Land swelling is common prior to volcanic eruptions, and Professor Thorvaldur Thordarson said the ground is now rising some 5.5 times faster than it did 10 days ago, with the flow of magma into the storage chamber – which sits 4.5km below the surface – now around 10 times faster, at around 50 cubic metres per second.

“The land is rising much faster now. This happens simultaneously because the magma is creating space and thus raising the surface of the earth,” Professor Thordarson told Iceland Monitor.

If this speed continues, the volcanologist believes the Svartsengi power plant will have reached its previous position in five to 15 days.

“What happens then, it’s hard to tell,” he said. “We might get an eruption, we might have a re-run of the activitites that happened on 10 November or just something completely new.”

Alexander Butler22 November 2023 02:30


‘It’s like a dystopian movie’: Iceland residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they flee volcano threat

Residents from a small Icelandic town under threat from a volcanic eruption have described their ‘apocalyptic’ existence as they fear for their future.

Last Friday, thousands of Grindavik residents were ordered to leave as the town was rocked by hundreds of earthquakes. The small fishing town is 34 miles from Reykjavík and is home to the famous tourist attraction the Blue Lagoon.

Many have been unable to return to the ‘danger zone’ to collect their belongings, as earthquakes continue to strike the town.

Lydia Patrick22 November 2023 00:30


Iceland earthquakes: Huge cracks appear on roads in town at risk of volcanic eruption

Iceland earthquakes: Huge cracks appear on roads in town at risk of volcanic eruption

Alexander Butler21 November 2023 22:30


New hazard map issued

The existing hazard map has been published to show where the biggest seismic risks are for the area around Grindavík and Svartsengi

The new map covers a wider hazard area than the previous map.

The Iceland Monitor explains the three different zones.

Orange: Danger zone A: Danger due to seismic activity.

Red: Danger zone B: Danger due to possible eruption, including earth cracking open suddenly, eruption with little forewarning, lava flow and dangerous gas pollution

Purple: Danger zone C: Increased danger of eruption like in zone B, and even more danger of the earth opening suddenly and dangerous gas pollution.

In this zone escape routes need to be clear, gas monitors and gas masks are needed if entering the area.

The purple area is the highest danger zone , encompassing Hagafell, north east of the town of Grindavik.

The purple area is the highest danger zone , encompassing Hagafell, north east of the town of Grindavik

(Icelandic Met Office)

Lydia Patrick21 November 2023 20:30


When will the Iceland volcano erupt and what happens when it does?

As an imminent eruption looms thousands of Iceland residents await their fate as their town could be wiped out within days.

Some 3,400 residents from the town of Grindavik which lies on the path of the expected fissure vent eruption were forced to evacuate, they described the ‘apocalyptic’ scenes of their much-loved home town as they briefly returned to collect their belongings.

The whole population waits in limbo as they fear the fate of their close-knit community, many have already lost their homes whilst others do not know if their residencies still stand as earthquakes have continued to strike.

Lydia Patrick21 November 2023 19:30

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