NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 18: Huge cracks have appeared on roads of Iceland’s Grindavik as the fishing town continues to sink every day. Authorities have evacuated Grindavik following hundreds of earthquakes and subsequent fears of volcano’s eruption.
Some 3,000 residents of the Grindavik were evacuated in a hurry on Saturday but they are now being allowed to return to collect their personal belongings.
“We are hoping that nature will allow us this time for everyone to retrieve their most valuable personal possessions”, Jon Thor Viglundsson, a spokesman for Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management had said on Thursday.
The Icelandic Met Office (IMO), has warned of “significant likelihood of a volcanic eruption in the coming days.
“Estimate of the vertical displacements caused by the dike during its initial propagation from 10-11 November.” The imagery shows over 1-m of ground displacement in the western part of Grindavík, caused by the propagation of the magma intrusion.
Since last month, Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula has reported tens of thousands of earthquakes, including 1,400 in a single 24-hour period.
The fears of volcanic eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula begun in 2021 after an hiatus of 800 years. This, as per the IMO, marks the begining of a new “eruptive cycle”.
“We expect to see volcanic eruptions along the peninsula, not just repeatedly in the same location”, Matthew Roberts of IMO said.
According to a BBC report, the IMO has learned that the magma is coursing into the ground fracturing rock over a distance of 9 miles beneath Grindavik “almost like an underground freight train”.
Soon after this realisation, authorities ordered to evacuate the town as pictures of giant cracks on Earth started to emerge from the area following a chain of earthquakes.
Volcanic activity is common in Iceland as the region sits over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The Eurasian and North American plates are pulling apart from each other, a few centimetres each year.
However, Icelandic weather experts say this kind of phenomenon is unknown in the modern times.