Iceland Volcano LIVE: Entire town may have to be moved as expert warns port could be filled with lava and destroyed


Communications still in tact in Grindavik, telecoms company says

  • Despite repetitive quakes, Grindavik’s telecommunications are still in tact, say communications companies.
  • Míla, Iceland’s largest telecommunications company, told RUV that radio signals are currently undamaged.
  • ‘All the telecommunications companies are cooperating. There is extremely good cooperation going on in all operations and it has been for the past week,’ the company’s technical director said.

PICTURED: Work continues on lava defences near the Svartsengi geothermal power plant

General view of the Svartsengi geothermal power plant, near the evacuated town of Grindavik, in Iceland, November 17, 2023. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Eruption is likely ‘in the coming days’, expert says

  • An eruption of molten rock from the magma tunnel under the Reykjanes Peninsula is likely in the coming days, an expert has said.
  • It is the most likely scenario, the head of the volcano department at Iceland’s weather service, Kristin Jonsdottir, told RUV radio station.
  • As in previous days, the Met Office said today that the likelihood of a volcanic eruption is high and that an eruption can be possible on a timescale of just days.
This image taken with a drone shows cracks at an intersection in the town of Grindavik, Iceland, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. Residents of a fishing town in southwestern Iceland have left their homes after increasing concern about a potential volcanic eruption caused civil defense authorities to declare a state of emergency in the region. Iceland's Meteorological Office says police decided to evacuate Grindavik after recent seismic activity in the area moved south toward the town. (AP Photo/Bjorn Steinbekk)

Grindavik residents ‘waiting for an eruption’ and ‘just want the uncertainty to end’

Residents of Grindavik, the Icelandic fishing town that has been evacuated amid volcanic and seismic activity in the area, have described how difficult it is not knowing if they will be able to return home.

‘We’re just waiting for an eruption. We just feel like we’re in a movie that we just want to end,’ said Ólöf Helga Pálsdóttir, a local whose family were told to leave the town.

‘You’re optimistic about getting home and then after ten minutes you start crying and missing home,’ she told media outlet Visir.

Grindavik emptied of residents after some were allowed back into the town to collect belongings

  • A select number of residents have been allowed in each day to collect their belongings since the town was evacuated last week.
  • Today’s return to the town has now been completed and went smoothly, local authorities said.

PICTURED: New aerial photographs show fissures throughout the coastal town of Grindavik amid volcanic activity

Residents of Grindavik wonder if they will ever return to their homes

After a barrage of earthquakes that herald an impending volcanic eruption, some evacuated residents of Grindavik wonder if they will ever return.

‘There are going to be a lot of people who don’t want to go there. My mother said ‘I never want to go there again’,’ Eythor Reynisson, who was born and raised in Grindavik, told AFP news agency.

The fishing port of 4,000 people on Iceland’s south coast was evacuated on November 11 after magma shifting under the Earth’s crust caused hundreds of earthquakes – a warning of a likely volcanic eruption.

Thousands of smaller tremors have shaken the region since.

With massive crevices ripping roads apart and buildings’ concrete foundations shattered, the once picturesque Grindavik now resembles a warzone.

The damage to the town hall will take months to repair.

Despite the conditions, a resilient community spirit was evident as residents this week queued to enter Grindavik to collect belongings they left in their hurried evacuation. Residents embraced each other and shared moments of laughter.

‘I am really emotional. That’s basically how I am feeling right now,’ Johannes Johannesson told AFP news agency.

For some, living around volcanoes comes with the territory. ‘We are a strong community, so I think it’s possible to build it up again,’ Reynisson said.

People ride in a car on a road that leads to the fishing town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland November 16, 2023. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
A police officer and a member of search and rescue team stand by the smoke rising from the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland November 15, 2023. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

Around 1,000 earthquakes recorded since midnight, reports say

Around 1,000 earthquakes have been recorded around the site of the volcano since midnight, Iceland’s RUV news outlet reports.

The strongest of these was a 3.0 magnitude quake, it said.

As Iceland braces for a massive volcanic eruption, members of the public can now listen to what the unnerving rumbling actually sounds like thanks to an app which transforms seismic frequencies into audible pitches.

Earthtunes, which has been developed by Northwestern University, turns the more familiar recording of squiggly lines scratched across a page into something that can instead be heard. The result is an ‘exciting and scary’ cacophony of noise as the island’s Reykjanes Peninsula is hit by hundreds of earthquakes.

Click the link below to listen and read the full story:

Volcanic seismic activity continuing today

Seismic activity around the Fagradalsfjall volcano remains consistent, Iceland’s RUV news outlet reports.

It says small earthquakes are continuing to shake north of Hagafell to Sundhnúka, and that the most significant land movement ‘ appears to be in the magma intrusion to the north of Grindavík, near Hagafell.’

Citing Iceland’s Met Office, RUV says a high probability remains of an eruption.

A magnitude 3.0 earthquake was recorded at around 7.30am today at Hagafell, it said.

Evacuated residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they fled their homes

Residents of Grindavík who were forced to evacuate their homes due to the threat of the volcanic eruption have described ‘apocalyptic’ scenes.

Many have been unable to return to the ‘danger zone’ to collect their belongings, and they face an uncertain future with their homes under threat.

Local resident Andrea Ævarsdóttir, whose house started shaking on Friday, told The Independent: ‘Everything just seems so unreal, I feel like I’m in a dystopian movie. I’m just waiting to wake up from this nightmare.

‘Some of [the earthquakes] were like a big truck had driven past your house, the bigger ones were like the same truck had hit your house,’ she told the news outlet. ‘Everything was shaking so bad, the floors were going up and down.’

Sólný Pálsdóttir, another resident, told The Guardian she had a bad feeling when she heard a sound emerge from beneath her home.

‘I was born in Grindavík and I am used to earthquakes since I was little but this was something else. Everyone who was there knew,’ she told the publication.

Local residents wait in their cars to get access to their homes in the fishing town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland November 16, 2023. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

An Icelandic port is in great danger of being destroyed in an impending volcanic eruption, and expert has told local media, amid fears a town may have to be moved.

Click the link below to read our full story:

Residents told more may be allowed to return to collect belongings

More residents who evacuated their homes over the eruption threat may be allowed to return to collect their belongings.

Víðir Reynisson, director of Civil Defence, told RUV it would be clearer tomorrow if people whould be allowed into the danger zone.

‘There is an assessment that will be done in the morning. Hopefully it will be possible to allow a little more tomorrow. We will start looking [at it] in the morning when we receive a new risk assessment,’ Reynisson told the news outlet.

WATCH: Live stream of region near Grindavík

Iceland’s RUV is broadcasting live streams, including one overlooking the peninsula and the region near Grindavík where the volcano is expected to erupt.

Eruption could begin in coming days

The Icelandic Met Office has said the eruption could begin within days.

According to Iceland’s RUV news outlet, magmatic gas has been detected at a borehole in Svartsengi – 2.3 miles north of Grindavík – which experts say is a signal that an eruption is imminent.

WATCH: Drone captures scale of crack caused by quakes

IN PICTURES: Fissures in Grindavík

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake tears through Philippines

As Iceland continues to brace iteself for a volcanic eruption after days of increased seismic activity, a powerful earthquake has hit the Philippines.

You can read our full story here:

EXPLAINED: What happened in 2010?

Between March and June 2010, a series of volcanic eruptions at Eyjafjallajökull spewed vast ash clouds into the air that caused huge disruption to air travel.

The disruptions began over a period of six days in April 2010, continued again in May, and persisted until June. The eruption was declared officially over in October that year after three months of inactivity.

The ice-capped volcano began to erupt in mid-March following several months of increased seismic activity in the area.

The first eruptions were isolated to the volcano’s north-east flank, but soon spread to the centre of the volcano – a 1.8-mile crater surrounded by ice.

As the ice started to melt, glacial water flooded into the volcano where it met with bubbling magma. The rapid cooling caused the magma to shear into ash particles.

Large plumes of ash quickly spread over the volcano, moved with the jet stream, and spread over northern Europe, wreaking havoc to air travel.

Iceland declared a state of emergency and European air space was closed as a safety precaution, stranding millions of passengers.

It is estimated airlines lost £130m every day the airspace remained closed.

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND - NOVEMBER 08:  Towering ash plume from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull crater during it's eruption, spewing tephra and cloud of ashes  that drift toward continental Europe on May 8 2010 near Reykjavik, Iceland.  (Photo by Etienne De Malglaive/Getty Images)
FIMMVORDUHALS, ICELAND -  MARCH 24:  An aerial view of a volcanic eruption between the Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers on March 24, 2010 in Fimmvorduhals, Iceland. A major eruption occured on April 14, 2010 which has resulted in a plume of volcanic ash being thrown into the atmosphere over parts of Northen Europe. Air traffic has been subject to cancellation or delay as airspace across parts of Northern Europe has been closed.  (Photo by GUSK/NordicPhotos/Getty Images)

Eruption will most likely be out at sea, expert says

Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson has said he believes that if there is a volcanic eruption in the coming days, it will most likely be out at sea.

However, he has played down fears of a huge eruption, saying that he believes the pressure of the magma is not high enough to come to the surface this time.

‘If the corridor is active and is moving to the south – we see that there are earthquakes that reach all the way under the sea, just south of Grindavík – it would be most natural if it would slide to the side and into this system southwest of the town,’ Sigurðsson told Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið.

In this way, a new island would be formed south of Grindavík.

On his blog, Sigurðsson even pondered what a new island should be called.

Looking at recent aerial photographs of Grindavík this week, he said he saw two fissures that run parallel just west of the town, about 200 meters apart.

He said old images taken by the US army in 1954 also show the cracks. Nevertheless, the town was built up around them.

‘We see it on the aerial photographs of the American army from 1954, and there it is clear. But the district manager has not been thinking about this at the time. It was just old cracks and no reason for them to be wondering about it. It [the town] was just built on top of this,’ he told the newspaper.

‘That was just the mentality. But now it’s a bit more of a problem.’

The significant deformation underway in the area of Grindavík (1.3 meters in less than twelve hours) is causing significant damage to the ghost town's infrastructure. Some buildings were literally cut in two. City pipes were also damaged.

Earlier in the week, scientists revealed to MailOnline just how big an eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano could be, and if it could rival that of Eyjafjallajokull, which saw 50,000 flights cancelled and 8 million passengers affected.

Follow the link below to read the full story:

Icelandic peninsula faces ‘decades’ of instability, country’s Met Office warns

Iceland’s south-west peninsula could see decades of instability, the Icelandic Met Office (IMO) has warned.

Earthquakes and growing fears of a huge impending eruption mark the start of a new ‘eruptive cycle’, the IMO’s Matthew Roberts told the BBC.

Eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula began again in 2021 after an 800-year hiatus, and thousands of people have now been evacuated.

‘We expect to see volcanic eruptions along the peninsula, not just repeatedly in the same location,’ Dr Roberts told the British broadcaster.

Instability could last decades, he added.

His team made the shocking realisation last Friday that magma was coursing into the ground and fracturing rock over a nine-mile distance.

The expert said the magma cut through the ground beneath Grindavik ‘almost like an underground freight train.’ Images have since shown fissures appearing in the ground, and further damage to buildings and roads is expected.

Western parts of Grindavik have also sunk into the ground.

An aerial view of the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland, November 15, 2023. Icelandic Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS   THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT

Iceland Volcano LIVE: What you need to know on November 17

Good morning and welcome to MailOnline’s live coverage of the impending volcanic eruption in Iceland. Here’s what you need to know today:

  • The Nordic country continues to brace itself for a potentially massive eruption that some fear could see a repeat of the flight chaos of 2010.
  • Iceland has declared a state of emergency and had evacuated 4,000 residents from the town of Grindavik, on the south-west coast.
  • The town, which sits between Iceland’s capital Reykjavik and its international airport, is located near the Fagradalsfjall volcano.
  • Scientists have warned molten magma has been building up three miles underneath Grindavik, and could be rising to 800 meters beneath the surface.
  • Recent days have seen hundreds of earthquakes and fissures opening in the ground. Experts warn an eruption could take place in days or even hours.
A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland November 15, 2023. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
Key Updates

  • 10:00

    IN PICTURES: Fissures in Grindavík

  • 08:47

    Icelandic peninsula faces ‘decades’ of instability, country’s Met Office warns

  • 08:26

    Iceland Volcano LIVE: What you need to know on November 17

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