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Iceland volcano – live: 120 earthquakes strike as Grindavik anticipate imminent eruption

Around 120 earthquakes have rocked the areas surrounding the town of Grindavik as they await a likely eruption, report the Icelandic Met Office.

It comes as the exact location for an eruption has been revealed by the Icelandic Met Office, which says it “is still considered likely”.

Experts at the Icelandic Met Office have issued a key update after a study of data from GPS stations and satellite images showed an “uplift” continues in the area of Svartsengi, north of Grindavík.

The Met Office stated that the eruption is “still considered likely as the magma inflow continues”, adding that “the highest likelihood for an eruption is in the middle part of the dike between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell”.

Earthquake activity has also led to the deepening of the port at Grindavik, according to RUV.

The change in depth is because of the earthquakes’ impact, said the port manager Sigurður Arnar Kristmundsson.

He told RUV: “The docks seem to have sunk by 20-30 centimeters when we measured about 10 days ago and then there is a chance that, yes, the bottom has sunk accordingly.”

A fortnight ago, Grindavik was evacuated after magma-induced seismic activity tore vast chasms through the streets.

Key Points

  • Biggest earthquake in 48 hours recorded

  • Met Office issues magma warning as likelihood of imminent eruption remains

  • Evacuation zone 'still dangerous' as eruption could occur with only minutes' notice

  • Ground near power plant swells as chamber beneath floods with magma

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

16:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Simon Calder answers your questions on aviation, the land of ice and fire, and birthday in Albania

As I write, the Reykjanes peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik, is seething with seismic activity.

Iceland’s main international airport, Keflavik, is just 10 miles north of the town Grindavik. Yet flights are operating normally, which some may find surprising.

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

When will the Iceland volcano erupt and what happens when it does?

15:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

As an imminent eruption looms thousands of Iceland residents await their fate as their town could be wiped out within days.

Thousands of earthquakes rocked the southwestern peninsula of Reykjanes on Saturday 11 November leading semi-molten rock to ravage below the surface as the tremors caused a 15km long dyke to form, cracking the community in two as the ground was pushed upwards.

Some 3,400 residents from the town of Grindavik which lies on the path of the expected fissure vent eruption were forced to evacuate, they described the ‘apocalyptic’ scenes of their much-loved home town as they briefly returned to collect their belongings.

When will the Iceland volcano erupt and what happens when it does?

Iceland braces for ‘imminent’ volcanic eruption with just 30 minutes warning

14:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Evacuated residents are being allowed to return under supervision to collect personal items as the nation is glued to news channels, reports Barney Davis from Rejkavik:

Iceland watches on helplessly as rescue workers escorting locals back to the evacuated fishing town of Grindavik say it is “now a waiting game” before an eruption.

Gripped viewers are glued to main TV News channel RUV.is as it plays a live stream of the glowing crater with modern Icelandic electronic music underneath as the countdown continued on Tuesday.

It comes as 1,200 households scramble to grab as many “heartfelt” objects as they can under observation from rescue teams from the town above the volatile Reykjanes Peninsula.

Iceland glued to ‘imminent’ volcano eruption amid 30 minute warning

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

13:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A sense of trepidation builds on the coach as we are waved through the roadblock that has held back people from returning to the Icelandic town of Grindavik amid an “imminent” volcanic eruption warning.

But the volunteer rescue forces posted on guard duty in battering 32mph winds have to follow the strict instructions of Iceland’s tourist minister. There is a lot of high-speed arguing in Icelandic, and eventually we pass through.

The coach is carrying the world’s media for the first time since the initial 5.2-magnitude earthquake gripped the globe’s attention. But after days of stalemate, fears of Iceland’s economy tanking, and rumours spreading of the entire country disappearing beneath the Atlantic, the government has reluctantly allowed the press to visit the site.

Barney Davis reports from Grindavik:

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Biggest volcanic eruptions in the last 10 years as Iceland town faces devastation

12:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

As Iceland’s town of Grindavik faces a catastrophic countdown to a volcanic eruption that could see its destruction, we take a look at some of the biggest eruptions in the last decade:

Biggest volcanic eruptions in the last 10 years as Iceland town faces devastation

11:14 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Stunning footage shows Mount Etna volcano eruption inside snow-capped crater

What to do with Grindavík: Has Iceland’s #1 selfie spot just emerged out of the ground?

10:21 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

From the spectacular Northern Lights to the stunning waters of Blue Lagoon, Iceland is certainly not short of tourist attractions.

But the country may have found another spot for tourists to take selfies in front of, after the small harbour town of Grindavík was hit by thousands of earthquakes.

As fears of an imminent volcanic eruption subside, the town is looking at how best to recover after streets were torn up and residents fled for safety.

The crater left behind in the wake of the chaos spreads from a Lutheran church and nursery all the way through a children’s playground and underneath the fabled Grindavík basketball team’s plush new stadium with the season about to start.

Iceland’s new #1 selfie spot may have emerged out of ground despite volcano threat

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

09:55 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

In case you missed this from our travel correspondent Simon Calder...

In April 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted and caused a complete shutdown of aviation for a week. Anyone who has a flight booked imminently may be fretting about a possible repeat.

Thankfully, the circumstances are very different. Eyjafjallajokull erupted with a glacier on top. The addition of melting water meant that the lava cooled very quickly into tiny fragments.

These were promptly propelled into the atmosphere to a height of 30,000ft by the steam produced in the eruption. A quarter of a billion cubic metres of volcanic ash were ejected and carried southeast towards the UK and continental Europe by the breeze.

Is it safe to travel to Iceland? Your rights if you have a holiday booked

Blue Lagoon prolongs closure

08:00 , Shweta Sharma

Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon has temporarily closed all its facilities in the wake of ongoing earthquake activity in the area.

Blue Lagoon said the geothermal spa will remain shut till 7 December and the situation will be reassessed.

“On November 9, Blue Lagoon made the proactive decision to temporarily close its facilities, affecting operations at Blue Lagoon, Silica Hotel, Retreat Spa, Retreat Hotel, Lava, and Moss Restaurant,” it said.

“Considering disruptions to our guests’ experience and the sustained pressure on our employees, these precautionary measures were taken to ensure safety and wellbeing for all.”

Is it safe to travel to Iceland? Your rights if you have a holiday booked

07:00 , Shweta Sharma

The earth is at its most restless in Iceland right now. The Reykjanes peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik, is seething with seismic activity sparking hundreds of small earthquakes.

The town of Grindavík, just 10 miles south of Keflavik International Airport, has been evacuated as a precaution.

Yet flights are continuing to arrive and depart as normal. These are the key questions and answers on consumer rights.

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder writes.

Is it safe to travel to Iceland? Your rights if you have a holiday booked

‘Ham still on the stove’ A restaurant owner returns to open up first Grindavik business since earthquake

06:17 , Barney Davis

Good news from Grindavík: the first restaurant has reopened - but only from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

Vilhjálmur Jóhann Lárusson, owner of Varar’s Seaman’s Club finally opened his doors again to guests despite more holes opening up around the town.

Vilhjálmur says there was no damage to the restaurant, but when the town was evacuated, the workers were busy preparing a Christmas buffet that was supposed to be on Saturday evening, so the ham was still in the pot when the staff came out.

He told MBL: “We are still grateful for good food as we are tired of sandwiches after three weeks.”

He welcomed around 150 people at the restaurant for lunch on Thursday.

Terrifying video shows Grindavik resident discovering another huge hole

05:00 , Barney Davis

In heart-stopping footage taken on Thursday residents almost fall into a collapsing floor uncovering an enormous hole where the soil has fallen away into a magma tunnel forming under Grindavik.

Met says inflammation in Svartsengi continues 'at a fairly stable rate'

04:17 , Shweta Sharma

Icelandic Met Office has said the “seismicity on the peninsula continues to decrease” but signs of magma movement and inflation persist.

“For the past few days, the automatic earthquake location system has been detecting relatively few earthquakes, mostly micro-earthquakes below magnitude one. The most recent seismicity is concentrated in the area between Sýlingarfell and Hagafell, where most likely the dike is fed by magma accumulating beneath Svartsengi,” it said in the latest update.

It added that although the seismic activity in the region around the dike is currently at a low level, the inflation process, likely associated with the movement of magma beneath the surface, continues steadily.

“Even though the activity along the dike and its vicinity is now occurring at very low intensity, the inflation which started in Svartsengi few days after the dike formed, continues at a fairly stable rate,” it said.

“Some cGPS stations around Svartsengi and Mt Þorbjörn show a slow declining trend, but other stations still show a constant trend suggesting that the inflow rate of magma at depth has not reduced significantly.”

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

03:45 , Shweta Sharma

A sense of trepidation builds on the coach as we are waved through the roadblock that has held back people from returning to the Icelandic town of Grindavik amid an “imminent” volcanic eruption warning.

But the volunteer rescue forces posted on guard duty in battering 32mph winds have to follow the strict instructions of Iceland’s tourist minister. There is a lot of high-speed arguing in Icelandic, and eventually we pass through.

The coach is carrying the world’s media for the first time since the initial 5.2-magnitude earthquake gripped the globe’s attention. But after days of stalemate, fears of Iceland’s economy tanking, and rumours spreading of the entire country disappearing beneath the Atlantic, the government has reluctantly allowed the press to visit the site.

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Live stream of earthquake activity near Grindavik

03:17 , Barney Davis

25m hole opens up in Grindavik as residents prepare to return

01:20 , Barney Davis

The land is still unstable around Grindavik with a 25m deep hole opening up at Hópbraut yesterday. Scientists were studying the hole and measuring it when photographers arrived.

“The hole you have here is naturally representative of the cracks that have formed here, because everything is falling apart.

“The soil does not go with the solid rock when it breaks and then it is crushed into the crack. This crack we have here is about 25.7 meters down to the water table.

“Which means that it is naturally deeper if you go into the lake itself,” Ármann Höskuldsson, research professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland told RUV.

Danger posed to workers as new hole opens up close to Grindavik

Friday 1 December 2023 23:17 , Barney Davis

A new hole opened up underneath an excavator working around the great chasm that appeared in Grindavík.

“I’m working on a crawler around the big crack and fixing pipes. I was going over it and then it sank under me,” Henry Ásgeirsson, a digger for Jóni and Margeiri told MBL.

He says the area is all cracked and really dangerous.

A colleague Jón Berg Reynisson, took photographs of the opening.

“We never know what lies ahead of us in these jobs, but there the hole was not bigger. The earth can sink down and we don’t know how deep and wide it is,” he says.

“We try to be careful, but anything can happen in this area.”

Mayor praying Grindavik can reopen soon with restoration efforts underway

Friday 1 December 2023 21:17 , Barney Davis

Fannar Jónasson, the town’s mayor, expressed optimism in a recent interview with Vísir.

“We’re seeing a variety of businesses expressing interest in reopening. With available housing and machinery for production and services, people are returning and taking advantage of these opportunities to keep their businesses afloat,” he stated.

Fannar emphasised the growing sense of community and mutual support in Grindavík.

“It’s great to see how supportive everyone is. Those working need access to food and services. There are also machine shops and wood workshops , among other businesses, which are reopening. So it is all interconnected, and life here is in its infancy, once again, ushering in what we hope marks the start of a positive era.”

Grindavik (Getty Images)
Grindavik (Getty Images)

Icelanders reunited with pets after fleeing homes amid volcano threat

Friday 1 December 2023 19:00 , Alexander Butler

Hundreds of pets have been rescued from Iceland’s town of Grindavik, after they were separated from their owners over threats of an imminent volcanic eruption.

Charities have taken part in a number of rescue efforts in a bid to save animals in the town with rescuers returning to look for animals.

Cats, dogs, hamsters and even hens were at the centre of rescue efforts after many were left behind following evacuation orders which gave residents minutes to leave. Over 4,000 people were evacuated.

Read the full article from Barney Davis

Rescue effort to save pets left behind in Iceland town evacuated by volcano threat

Has Iceland’s #1 selfie spot just emerged out of the ground?

Friday 1 December 2023 18:00 , Alexander Butler

From the spectacular Northern Lights to the stunning waters of Blue Lagoon, Iceland is certainly not short of tourist attractions.

But the country may have found another spot for tourists to take selfies in front of, after the small harbour town of Grindavík was hit by thousands of earthquakes.

As fears of an imminent volcanic eruption subside, the town is looking at how best to recover after streets were torn up and residents fled for safety.

Read the full story from our reporter Barney Davis here

Iceland’s new #1 selfie spot may have emerged out of ground despite volcano threat

Mount Etna spits lava and billows smoke into night sky

Friday 1 December 2023 17:25 , Barney Davis

Moving a bit further south from Iceland stunning footage of Italy’s Mount Etna spitting lava and billowing smoke into the night sky has emerged on the morning of 1 December.

Whilst it’s a relatively timid explosion, Mount Etna erupts frequently and creates plumes of ashes that threaten to disrupt Catania’s nearby airport.

The Sicilian volcano is currently in a period of blast activity that began in the middle of November 2023.

Mount Etna is believed to have the longest documented history of eruptions among all volcanoes, with records dating back to as early as 425 B.C.

Mount Etna spits lava and billows smoke into night sky

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Friday 1 December 2023 17:00 , Alexander Butler

A sense of trepidation builds on the coach as we are waved through the roadblock that has held back people from returning to the Icelandic town of Grindavik amid an “imminent” volcanic eruption warning.

But the volunteer rescue forces posted on guard duty in battering 32mph winds have to follow the strict instructions of Iceland’s tourist minister. There is a lot of high-speed arguing in Icelandic, and eventually we pass through.

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Drone footage

Friday 1 December 2023 15:03 , Alexander Butler

Incredible drone footage has emerged showing the extent of crack in the streets in the evacuated town of Grindavik.

Our reporter visited the town last week to discover a structurally damaged parish, but a strong community battling on despite the conditions.

Among the people he spoke to was the manager of Kattholt Animal Shelter, who was returnign daily to rescue hundreds of pets from the town.

He also discovered a new craze of people taking selfies next to the craters in the road.

Key questions answered for residents in Grindavik

Friday 1 December 2023 14:07 , Alexander Butler

Residents of Grindavik have now been away from their homes for more than two weeks. As uncertainty hangs over when they will be able to return, they were able to put questions to the country’s leaders at an event this week, report local outlet RUV.is.

Here’s a round-up of some of the questions they asked:

Should the town have been evacuated earlier?

Víðir Reynisson, from the Icelandic police force, said it was not necessary to evacuate the town earlier. The first data from 10 November showed that the magma corridor was so far from the town that it would take days or even weeks for lava to flow to Grindavík in the event of an eruption, he said.

When will pipelines be fixed?

Works are underway with the project expected to take place over the winter with completion in early spring.

How you get compensation for a house?

Compensation reflects the damage that has occurred to the property. People have a year to report the damage.

Is it safe to travel to Iceland?

Friday 1 December 2023 10:26 , Alexander Butler

Is it safe to travel to Iceland? Your rights if you have a holiday booked

Every resident of an Icelandic town was evacuated due to a volcano. Daring rescuers went back to save the pets

Friday 1 December 2023 05:00 , Lydia Patrick

Hundreds of pets have been rescued from Iceland’s town of Grindavik, after they were separated from their owners over threats of an imminent volcanic eruption.

Charities have taken part in a number of rescue efforts in a bid to save animals in the town with rescuers returning to look for animals.

Cats, dogs, hamsters and even hens were at the centre of rescue efforts after many were left behind following evacuation orders which gave residents minutes to leave. Over 4,000 people were evacuated.

Charities and other organisations stepped in to save the day as many happy reunions took place amid the bittersweet circumstances.

Rescue effort to save pets left behind in Iceland town evacuated by volcano threat

First Grindavik back in business

Friday 1 December 2023 03:00 , Sam Rkaina

A Grindavik restaurant has reopened for business, the first since the town was evacuated due to the looming threat of eruption.

However, for now at least, Varar’s Seaman’s Club is only open for a few hours a day initially.

Owner Vilhjálmur Jóhann Lárusson told mbl.is around 150 people came back through the door for its first lunch service back.

Mr Lárusson said people had tired of having nothing but sandwiches for three weeks.

Scenes from sub zero Iceland as winter approaches

Thursday 30 November 2023 18:00 , Sam Rkaina

A reminder below of the conditions in Iceland at this time of year as winter approaches.

The Icelandic Cricket Association has this afternoon posted a clip from an unspecific part of the country. showing the landscape covered in ice and snow.

Temperatures have plunged even further than the UK this week, dipping to -7C in parts of the island nation.

Iceland braces for ‘imminent’ volcanic eruption with just 30 minutes warning

Thursday 30 November 2023 17:00 , Lydia Patrick

Iceland watches on helplessly as rescue workers escorting locals back to the evacuated fishing town of Grindavik say it is “now a waiting game” before an eruption.

Gripped viewers are glued to main TV News channel RUV.is as it plays a live stream of the glowing crater with modern Icelandic electronic music underneath as the countdown continued on Tuesday.

It comes as 1,200 households scramble to grab as many “heartfelt” objects as they can under observation from rescue teams from the town above the volatile Reykjanes Peninsula.

The police checkpoint lies 25km (15.5 miles) away from the town but only 12km (7.5 miles) from cracks starting to form across the roads and stretching far into the mountains.

Iceland glued to ‘imminent’ volcano eruption amid 30 minute warning

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Thursday 30 November 2023 14:35 , Lydia Patrick

A sense of trepidation builds on the coach as we are waved through the roadblock that has held back people from returning to the Icelandic town of Grindavik amid an “imminent” volcanic eruption warning.

But the volunteer rescue forces posted on guard duty in battering 32mph winds have to follow the strict instructions of Iceland’s tourist minister. There is a lot of high-speed arguing in Icelandic, and eventually we pass through.

The coach is carrying the world’s media for the first time since the initial 5.2-magnitude earthquake gripped the globe’s attention. But after days of stalemate, fears of Iceland’s economy tanking, and rumours spreading of the entire country disappearing beneath the Atlantic, the government has reluctantly allowed the press to visit the site.

Reporter Barney Davis visited Grindavik last week, here is what he discovered

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Grindavik’s port has deepened

Thursday 30 November 2023 11:44 , Alex Ross

Earthquake activity has led to the deepening of the port at Grindavik, according to local media outlet RUV.is.

The change in depth is because of the impact of the earthquakes, said the port manager Sigurður Arnar Kristmundsson - who says it’s not all bad news.

He told he news outlet: “The docks seem to have sunk by 20-30 centimeters when we measured about 10 days ago and then there is a chance that, yes, the bottom has sunk accordingly.

“It’s no big news that the piers have sunk, but it can probably be fixed. But it’s good news that the bottom has subsided to the extent that the ships can have a greater draft when they come into port.”

ICYMI - Has Iceland’s #1 selfie spot just emerged out of the ground?

Thursday 30 November 2023 09:40 , Lydia Patrick

Reporter Barney Davis visited the evacuated town of Grindavik last night, here is what he found

From the spectacular Northern Lights to the stunning waters of Blue Lagoon, Iceland is certainly not short of tourist attractions.

But the country may have found another spot for tourists to take selfies in front of, after the small harbour town of Grindavík was hit by thousands of earthquakes.

As fears of an imminent volcanic eruption subside, the town is looking at how best to recover after streets were torn up and residents fled for safety.

The crater left behind in the wake of the chaos spreads from a Lutheran church and nursery all the way through a children’s playground and underneath the fabled Grindavík basketball team’s plush new stadium with the season about to start.

At different sections, you can simply skip from the Eurasian to the North American tectonic plate but at its deepest points you will struggle to see the bottom of the dark abyss.

Iceland’s new #1 selfie spot may have emerged out of ground despite volcano threat

120 earthquakes overnight

Thursday 30 November 2023 08:01 , Lydia Patrick

Around 120 earthquakes have rocked the areas surrounding the southwestern town of Grindavik, report the IMO.

At 06:44am this morning a M2.8 quake struck 5 km southwest of Dalvík, they added.

Earthquakes during last 48 hours (The Icelandic Met Office)
Earthquakes during last 48 hours (The Icelandic Met Office)

Where the earthquakes have been happening

Thursday 30 November 2023 06:00 , Alex Ross

As you can see, most of the earthquakes are located in the dike in the south western peninsula of Iceland. The biggest, however, was in Vatnafjoll, measuring 3.5 magnitude at 5.56am on Tuesday morning.

The earthquakes over the past 48 hours (Icelandic Met Office)
The earthquakes over the past 48 hours (Icelandic Met Office)

Grindavik’s port has deepened

Thursday 30 November 2023 04:00 , Alex Ross

Earthquake activity has led to the deepening of the port at Grindavik, according to local media outlet RUV.is.

The change in depth is because of the impact of the earthquakes, said the port manager Sigurður Arnar Kristmundsson - who says it’s not all bad news.

He told he news outlet: “The docks seem to have sunk by 20-30 centimeters when we measured about 10 days ago and then there is a chance that, yes, the bottom has sunk accordingly.

“It’s no big news that the piers have sunk, but it can probably be fixed. But it’s good news that the bottom has subsided to the extent that the ships can have a greater draft when they come into port.”

Key questions answered for residents in Grindavik

Thursday 30 November 2023 02:00 , Alex Ross

Residents of Grindavik have now been away from their homes for more than two weeks. As uncertainty hangs over when they will be able to return, they were able to put questions to the country’s leaders at an event this week, report local outlet RUV.is.

Here’s a round-up of some of the questions they asked:

Should the town have been evacuated earlier?

Víðir Reynisson, from the Icelandic police force, said it was not necessary to evacuate the town earlier. The first data from 10 November showed that the magma corridor was so far from the town that it would take days or even weeks for lava to flow to Grindavík in the event of an eruption, he said.

When will pipelines be fixed?

Works are underway with the project expected to take place over the winter with completion in early spring.

How you get compensation for a house?

Compensation reflects the damage that has occurred to the property. People have a year to report the damage.

Where can children go to school?

Children from Grindavik will be able to use a school in Grafarvogur from 30 November.

Grindavik allowed to return during daytime hours

Wednesday 29 November 2023 22:00 , Alex Ross

Police have been allowing evacuated residents of Grindavik to return for their belonging and run commercial activities - and now they have extended the hours from 9am to 4pm to 7am to 5pm.

Companies can restart operations where plumbing systems have been fixed, including in the port area.

Police officers keep tabs on the number of people inside the town by counting cars coming in and out each day.

The relaxation comes as the Icelandic Met Office now predicts an eruption is more likely to be in an area north of Grindavík, and not within the town boundary.

Free healthcare for Grindavik residents

Wednesday 29 November 2023 20:00 , Alex Ross

A telehealth company is offering healthcare and support to people evacuated from the town of Grindavik two weeks ago.

With support from the government’s public safety department, police and the Red Cross, company Kara Connect has launched the service, with help from volunteers.

Psychologists, family support workers and occupational therapists will all be on hand to offer support.

Sigrún Eggertsdóttir, an employee of Kara Connect, said the residents had suffered an enormous shock and the company wished to help in their hour of need.

Strongest earthquake today

Wednesday 29 November 2023 15:47 , Alex Ross

The Icelandic Met Office has updated its readings for earthquakes recorded today.

At 11.30am, it reported there had been around 180 minor earthquakes near the dike in the Grindavik region so far today.

Of them, the largest had a magnitude of 2.3 and was located near Hagafell, close to where the experts believe an eruption would take place.

Around 300 earthquakes were detected yesterday, as seismic activity continutes in the area.

Volcano in Japan

Wednesday 29 November 2023 14:17 , Alex Ross

As we continue to focus on events in Iceland, there’s been some footage caputred of a volcano in Japan spewing ash and smoke in a spectacular eruption.

The eruption took place on Niijima island, some 100 miles south of the capital of Tokyo on 23 November.

You can watch the video by clicking here.

Icelandic Met Office’s daily update

Wednesday 29 November 2023 10:10 , Alex Ross

Every morning the Icelandic Met Office isuses an update on earthquakes across the country, including the “volanic unrest near Grindavik”.

Its update at just before 6am this morning reported around 80 minor earthquakes near the dike near Grindavik today, with around 300 recorded yesterday.

The strongest earthquake over the past 48 hours was measured at 3.5 magnitude and was at Vatnafjoll, today at 5.56am.

The continued seismic activity comes as the Met Office warns an eruption “is stil considered likely as long as the magma inflow continues”.

House sitting on fault line damaged by earthquakes in Grindavik (Getty Images)
House sitting on fault line damaged by earthquakes in Grindavik (Getty Images)

Dike ‘wider than initially assessed'

Wednesday 29 November 2023 09:08 , Alex Ross

The Icelandic Met Office has been doing further testing on the magma dike which formed on 10 November, resulting in the evaucation of the town of Grindavik.

It has found that the dike, at its depth, could be wider than initially assessed.

This means it will take more time for the magma to solidify, possibly a few months, and therefore the threat of an eruption will remain for longer.

The update reads: “Additional geodetical modelling has been performed to reconstruct the evolution of the dike which formed on 10 November.

“These newest results suggest that the dike at depth could be wider than initially assessed. The time needed to solidify the magma that intruded into the dike would be therefore estimated to be on the order of a few months.”

Predicted location

Wednesday 29 November 2023 08:14 , Alex Ross

Here’s a map showing the area the Icelandic Met Office predict the eruption will be, between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell.

Eruption could occur near world famous Blue Lagoon

Wednesday 29 November 2023 07:50 , Sam Rkaina

Until now, the focus of where any eruption could take place has been the dike in the area close to the evacuated town of Grindavik.

Iceland’s Met Office has now issued a detailed update after a series of earthquakes over the weekend and the start of this week that suggests it could be elsewhere.

It states that GPS data and satellite images show the “uplift” continues in the area of Svartseng, which is next to the Blue Lagoon attraction, around three miles north of Grindavik.

“In light of the available data and the newest analysis, an eruption along the dike is still considered likely as long as the magma inflow continues,” a spokesperson said.

“It is assessed that the area with the highest likelihood for an eruption is in the middle part of the dike between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell.”

Both Hagafell and Sýlingarfell are north of Grindavik, and are about four miles apart from each other.

Iceland Met Office map showing earthquake activity near the Blue Lagoon (Iceland Met Office)
Iceland Met Office map showing earthquake activity near the Blue Lagoon (Iceland Met Office)

Grindavik residents still face the unknown

Wednesday 29 November 2023 06:00 , Lydia Patrick

Volcanologists predict it is less likely an eruption will take place in the town of Grindavik but they cannot outrule the possibility of an eruption just north of the town.

Siggeir Ævarsson, 38, is a Grindavik resident who does not know if he will be able to return to his family home alongside his wife and youngest daughter, Þórgunnur Júlía,10, and two cats.

They are currently staying with their in-laws in Reykjavík.

Mr Ævarsson told The Independent yesterday: “We’re all just waiting.

“A lot of people are struggling with finding places to stay long term that fit with their family.”

Siggeir Ævarsson and his wife Soffía Sveinsdóttir are trying to remain positive despite  not knowing if they will be able to return home (Provided)
Siggeir Ævarsson and his wife Soffía Sveinsdóttir are trying to remain positive despite not knowing if they will be able to return home (Provided)

‘An eruption north of the town cannot be excluded yet'

Wednesday 29 November 2023 04:00 , Lydia Patrick

An eruption within or just outside the town of Grindavik cannot be ruled out, says University of Iceland volcanologist .

Páll Einarsson told The Independent:

Things are developing slowly. The over-all earthquake activity is slowly decreasing. But there was a swarm of earthquakes yesterday night that most likely signals displacement of magma within the active dike. The narrowest sections of the dike are considered to have solidified already, but the thickest sections probably need months to solidify. The probability for an eruption within the town of Grindavík is considered to be decreasing but an eruption north of the town cannot be excluded yet.

Páll Einarsson

Every resident of an Icelandic town was evacuated due to a volcano. Daring rescuers went back to save the pets.

Wednesday 29 November 2023 02:00 , Lydia Patrick

Hundreds of pets have been rescued from Iceland’s town of Grindavik, after they were separated from their owners over threats of an imminent volcanic eruption.

Charities have taken part in a number of rescue efforts in a bid to save animals in the town with rescuers returning to look for animals.

Cats, dogs, hamsters and even hens were at the centre of rescue efforts after many were left behind following evacuation orders which gave residents minutes to leave. Over 4,000 people were evacuated.

On-the-ground reporter Barney Davies covered the rescue mission in Grindavik last week

Rescue effort to save pets left behind in Iceland town evacuated by volcano threat

Grindavik residents struggle to find long term accomodation

Wednesday 29 November 2023 00:01 , Lydia Patrick

Siggeir Ævarsson, 38, is a Grindavik resident who evacuated his home town two weeks ago alongside his wife and youngest daughter, Þórgunnur Júlía,10, and two cats.

They are currently staying with their in-laws in Reykjavík but he says many residents are struggling to find long term affordable accommodation.

“The only places available are super expensive, tiny or somewhere out in the country,” Mr Ævarsson told the Independent.