Last night, the Icelandic Civil Protection ordered the evacuation of Grindavík, a town of 3,500 inhabitants located on the Reykjanes peninsula, about 60 kilometers from Reykjavik, due to the risk of volcanic eruption. The authorities have proclaimed a state of emergency.
The alarm in Iceland
According to volcanologists’ forecasts, the movements of the magma underlying the earth’s crust in the area seem to lead to the prediction of significant volcanic activity. “We are very worried about the houses and infrastructure in the area,” said Iceland’s civil protection and emergency manager, Vidir Reynisson. Grindavik is located about 40 kilometers from the capital and is close to the Svartsengi geothermal power plant, the main supplier of electricity and water for 30 thousand inhabitants of the Reykjanes peninsula. It is also close to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a popular tourist destination which has already been temporarily closed as a precaution over the past few days.
Earthquakes and eruptions
The eruption, according to forecasts, could occur in a few hours or a few days. The most likely scenario is that of magma escaping from anywhere in the 15 kilometer deep fissure that recently formed in the affected area. Seismic tremors and ground upheavals have already damaged roads and buildings in and around the port town. There are images of a large fissure that destroyed the city’s golf course. In Iceland there are 33 active “volcanic systems”.