Iceland, with more than 200 volcanoes, 32 of them active In a territory little larger than Andalusia, it has begun to tremble, opening a gap in the earth of several kilometers. The country is alert for a volcanic eruption, something that could happen in the coming weeks, or in the next few minutes.
On November 24, the earth began to shake in the southwest of the island, until last weekend it reached 1,000 earthquakes daily, what is known as a seismic swarm. Near a small mountain called Thorbjörn, magma began to accumulate about five kilometers deep.
Seismicity and magma intrusion continues, although the size and intensity are decreasing slightly: 900 earthquakes in the last 24 hours, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office. However, far from being a reassuring message, it could be that the magma is simply approaching the surface.
Around the town of Grindavík, a fishing municipality in the southwest of the island, of about 3,500 inhabitants, on the Reykjanes peninsula, but just 42 kilometers from Reykjavík, the Icelandic capital, where more than 120,000 live. Icelandic authorities declared a state of emergency on Saturday after magma rose to the 800 meters deep, opening a gap of 15 kilometers towards the Atlantic, which split Grindavík in half, sinking the western part of the city by one meter.
Grindavík is a ghost town right now. Almost 4,000 people were evacuated from the risk area between Friday afternoon and Saturday night. Before leaving they were asked to close the windows, unplug the appliances and They would post a note in a visible place indicating that the house had been abandoned. Almost all of them put the word “Farin”: “We left.” Many have gone with relatives, such as librarian Andrea Ævarsdóttir, to her mother’s house in Reykjavík, along with her two children. The authorities gave him five minutes to take everything they could of value: “We ran in, put everything in bags, got in the car and left the city,” he told the Icelandic newspaper. Morgunbladid. It is believed that the landslide could last several days or weeks, as cracks widen and half of Grindavík sinks ahead of the other half. An animal protection association announced the rescue of 49 cats, 4 hamsters, and another 90 specimens including carrier pigeons, sheep, frogs and parrots. The last evacuation of a major settlement in Iceland occurred 50 years agoduring the 1973 eruption on Heimaey Island, off the country’s southern coast.