Iceland Volcano Threat: Huge Defense Dam Construction Updates & Evacuation News

2023-11-16 07:19:26

Published16. November 2023, 08:19

Iceland: Huge defense dam to protect city from volcano

The situation on the Icelandic Reykjanes peninsula, which is threatened by a volcanic eruption, remains tense.

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Grindavik had to be evacuated due to the threat of an eruption.

REUTERS

Grindavik is located around 40 kilometers southwest of the capital Reykjavik.

REUTERS

The approximately 3,700 residents had to leave their homes on Saturday night.

REUTERS

That’s what it’s about

A volcano threatens southwest Iceland.

An outbreak could be imminent.

Holes in the ground formed on Thursday night.

The magma on the Icelandic Reykjanes peninsula, which is threatened by a volcanic eruption, has worked its way further towards the earth’s surface. The liquid rock is probably still at a depth of around 500 meters, said Benedikt Ófeigsson from the Icelandic Meteorological Service on Wednesday.

The magma moves almost like an “underground freight train,” says Matthew Roberts from the Icelandic Meteorological Service. The Reykjanesskagi Peninsula could become unstable for decades. “We expect volcanic eruptions across the entire peninsula, not just repeatedly in the same place,” says Matthew Roberts.

A hole in the ground has formed in Grindavik in the last few hours, state radio reported on Thursday morning. The sinkhole formed above the magma tunnel. The construction of a five-kilometer-long defensive dam has begun. This is intended to prevent damage to the infrastructure and is located near the Blue Lagoon. Construction work started at three in the morning and was carried out with one of the largest bulldozers in the country.

Grindavik is located around 40 kilometers southwest of the capital Reykjavik and has been threatened by a possible volcanic eruption for days. The approximately 3,700 residents had to leave their homes on Saturday night because an approximately 15 kilometer long magma tunnel runs under Grindavik to the seabed. The nearby Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most famous tourist attractions, had previously been closed.

The weather service recorded more than 800 earthquakes from midnight to noon on Wednesday. This is not a significant change compared to the previous day, explained Ófeigsson. However, the earthquakes are significantly weaker than on Friday. Part of the magma tunnel appears to be solidifying, especially at the edges. However, more magma is flowing. The probability of an outbreak is still high.

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