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Iceland volcano – live: Eruption likely scientists warn as country’s ‘biggest bulldozer’ build defences

A volcanic eruption could destroy the Icelandic town of Grindavik or lead to extensive ash clouds, experts have warned.

The country has been shaken by more than 800 small earthquakes, prompting fears that the tremors could disrupt the Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula in the southwest of the country. Scientists have said an eruption at some point is ‘likely’.

It comes as a Caterpillar D11 - said to be Iceland’s biggest bulldozer - has been dispatched to help build defences. The huge piece of equipment is constructing trenches to reduce the damage caused by any eventual disaster.

Almost 4,000 people were evacuated from Grindavik over the weekend as authorities feared that molten rock would rise to the surface of the earth and potentially hit the coastal town and a geothermal power station.

Ragga Agustsdottir, who lives close to Grindavik, said residents were fearful of what could happen if an eruption struck.

Scientists have warned Iceland’s south-western peninsula could face “decades” of volcanic instability following eruptions along the peninsula.

Key Points

  • Defence walls built around power plant

  • Fears over flights in and out of Iceland

  • Eruption fears as magma spreads underground and cracks appear in roads

  • Where is Grindavik?

More residents might be able to return

10:09 , Lydia Patrick

Víðir Reynisson, director of Civil Defence, says more residents might be able to enter the danger zone to collect their belongings.

Mr Reynisson told RUV it would be clearer tomorrow if they could return.“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 it in the morning when we receive a new risk assessment,” Reynisson told RUV.

‘It’s like a dystopian movie’: Iceland residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they flee volcano threat

09:39 , Lydia Patrick

Residents from a small Icelandic town under threat from volcanic eruption have described ‘apocalyptic’ existence as they fear for their future.

Last Friday, thousands of Grindavik residents were ordered to leave as the town was rocked by hundreds of earthquakes. The small fishing town is 34 miles from Reykjavík and is home to the famous tourist attraction the Blue Lagoon.

Many have been unable to return to the ‘danger zone’ to collect their belongings, as earthquakes continue to strike the town.

Iceland residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they flee volcano threat

High chance of volcanic eruption, scientists warn

07:54 , Alexander Butler

There is a “high” chance of a volcanic eruption in Iceland, scientists have warned.

“The probability of an eruption is still considered high. Signs of shallowing micro-seismic activity and sudden slippage are being monitored, which may be signs that magma is making its way to the surface,” the Icelandic met office said.

It comes as a Caterpillar D11 - said to be Iceland’s biggest bulldozer - has been dispatched to help build defences. The huge piece of equipment is constructing trenches to reduce the damage caused by any eventual disaster.

A police officer talks to a local resident on a road leading to the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)
A police officer talks to a local resident on a road leading to the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)

Over 50 cats rescued after residents asked to evacuate Grindavik

07:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

At least 52 cats have been rescued by an animal shelter in Kattholt after pets were left behind during the emergency evacuation of the Icelandic town of Grindavik.

Nearly 4,000 people in the small fishing town were evacuated last weekend amid fears of an imminent volcanic eruption.

Residents were told they could return the next day to pick up their pets, but that didn’t happen.“Since the evacuation, a total of 289 animals have been rescued, that is all animals from frogs to horses,” Hanna Everson for the animal shelter told The Mirror.

“And also a whole chicken farm with 15,000 chicks were rescued.”

But charities said so far four cats, nine fish and four canaries were still stranded.

Iceland earthquakes: Huge cracks appear on roads in volcano-threatened town

07:00 , Tom Watling

Roads have begun to crack and buildings buckle under the pressure of underground magma as Iceland prepares for a possible volcanic eruption.

Around 900 earthquakes hit the south of the country on Monday 13 November, with tens of thousands of tremors reported in the region of Reykjanes in recent weeks.

“All roads to Grindavik are closed and traffic on them is forbidden,” the Road Administration of Iceland wrote on Facebook, sharing footage of the damage.

Huge cracks appear on roads in Iceland’s volcano-threatened town

No Iceland earthquakes above magnitude 3 recorded in past two days

06:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

While seismic activity continues in the affected region of Iceland, all the earthquakes that have hit the Reykjanes peninsula in the past two days were below magnitude 3 on the richter scale, according to state broadcaster RUV.

“Due to the release of tension, it is likely that the magma will have an easy way to the surface, and therefore it cannot be assumed that eruption turbulence will be visible on the meters before the eruption begins,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said.

Iceland earthquakes: Are flights still running amid fears of volcano eruption?

06:00 , Tom Watling

Iceland has declared a state of emergency after hundreds of earthquakes struck the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula in the past 48 hours.

Despite fears of an impending volcanic eruption, flights from the UK to Keflavik international airport 10 miles north of the eruption site are going ahead as usual.

On Sunday 12 November, all scheduled flights from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Manchester landed without incident.

Iceland earthquakes: Are flights still running amid fears over volcano eruption?

Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon spa temporarily shuts down

05:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon spa has temporarily shut down, one week after a series of earthquakes led guests to vacate the hotel.

The Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa southwest of Reykjavík, will be closed until 30 November amid fears of an imminent volcanic eruption.

Thousands of alarming earthquakes since late October prompted 40 guests at the spa to reportedly leave the resort’s premises earlier this month.

More here.

Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon spa temporarily shuts down over volcanic threat

‘It’s like a dystopian movie’: Iceland residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they flee volcano threat

05:00 , Tom Watling

Residents from a small Icelandic town under threat from volcanic eruption have described ‘apocalyptic’ existence as they fear for their future.

Last Friday, thousands of Grindavik residents were ordered to leave as the town was rocked by hundreds of earthquakes. The small fishing town is 34 miles from Reykjavík and is home to the famous tourist attraction the Blue Lagoon.

Many have been unable to return to the ‘danger zone’ to collect their belongings, as earthquakes continue to strike the town.

Iceland residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they flee volcano threat

Grindavik could be obliterated if volcanic eruption strikes

04:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A volcanic eruption could destroy the Icelandic town of Grindavik or lead to extensive ash clouds, experts have warned.

The country has been shaken by more than 2,000 small earthquakes in the past few days, prompting fears that the tremors could disrupt the Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula in the southwest of the country.

Thousands have been told to evacuate Grindavik as a precautionary measure, while a magma tunnel stretches below the surface. If an eruption occurs in or close to the town, the consequences will be devastating, volcanologist Armann Hoskuldsson warned.

He told state broadcaster RUV: “This is very bad news. One of the most serious scenarios is an eruption in the town itself, similar to that in Vestmannaeyjar 50 years ago. This would be much worse.”

Lydia Patrick reports.

Iceland earthquake: Town could be obliterated if volcanic eruption strikes

Biggest volcanic eruptions in the last decade as Iceland town faces devastation

04:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Iceland is highly susceptible to natural disasters because it lies on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge – a divergent plate boundary where the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate are moving away from each other, leading to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Three eruptions have taken place on the peninsula of Reykjanes near the Fagradalsfjall volcano in the last three years: in March 2021, August 2022 and July 2023.

However, previous eruptions did not cause damage, having occurred in remote valleys.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain has more.

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

Massive cracks appear in Grindavik

03:55 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The land has reportedly sunk by five feet in the west of Grindavik, and risen by up to 3 feet to the east.

A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)
A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)

Couple cling to each other during Iceland earthquake

03:00 , Tom Watling

A couple cling to one another as their house shakes violently in an earthquake during a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Caitlin McLean, from Scotland, was visiting her boyfriend, Gisli Gunnarsson, 29, in Grindavik when they were forced to flee his home at midnight on Friday (10 November) as his house shook and locals frantically evacuated the area.

Ms McLean, 34, captured the moment the furniture and light fixtures shook violently in Mr Gunnarsson’s home when the volcano erupted.

Police evacuated Grindavik after seismic activity in the area moved south towards the town, with a corridor of magma, or semi-molten rock, now thought to be extending under the community, Iceland’s Meteorological Office said.

Couple cling to each other during Iceland earthquake

Iceland residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they flee volcano threat

02:55 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Residents from a small Icelandic town under threat from volcanic eruption have described ‘apocalyptic’ existence as they fear for their future.

Last Friday, thousands of Grindavik residents were ordered to leave as the town was rocked by hundreds of earthquakes. The small fishing town is 34 miles from Reykjavík and is home to the famous tourist attraction the Blue Lagoon.

Many have been unable to return to the ‘danger zone’ to collect their belongings, as earthquakes continue to strike the town.

Grindavik resident Andrea Ævarsdóttir, 46, 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.”

Lydia Patrick reports.

Iceland residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they flee volcano threat

Iceland earthquakes: Huge cracks appear on roads in volcano-threatened town

02:00 , Tom Watling

Roads have begun to crack and buildings buckle under the pressure of underground magma as Iceland prepares for a possible volcanic eruption.

Around 900 earthquakes hit the south of the country on Monday 13 November, with tens of thousands of tremors reported in the region of Reykjanes in recent weeks.

“All roads to Grindavik are closed and traffic on them is forbidden,” the Road Administration of Iceland wrote on Facebook, sharing footage of the damage.

Huge cracks appear on roads in Iceland’s volcano-threatened town

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

01:00 , Tom Watling

Given the volcanic situation in Iceland, is it going to be another 2010 in aviation?

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

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

Iceland earthquakes: Are flights still running amid fears of volcano eruption?

00:00 , Tom Watling

Iceland has declared a state of emergency after hundreds of earthquakes struck the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula in the past 48 hours.

Despite fears of an impending volcanic eruption, flights from the UK to Keflavik international airport 10 miles north of the eruption site are going ahead as usual.

On Sunday 12 November, all scheduled flights from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Manchester landed without incident.

Iceland earthquakes: Are flights still running amid fears over volcano eruption?

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

Thursday 16 November 2023 23:00 , Tom Watling

Iceland’s town of Grindavik faces a catastrophic countdown to a volcanic eruption that could see its destruction, experts have warned.

Almost 4,000 people were evacuated from Grindavik over the weekend as authorities feared that molten rock would rise to the surface of the earth and potentially hit the coastal town and a geothermal power station.

It comes as the country has been shaken by more than 880 small earthquakes, prompting fears that the tremors could disrupt the Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula in the southwest of the country.

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

‘It’s like a dystopian movie’: Iceland residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they flee volcano threat

Thursday 16 November 2023 22:00 , Tom Watling

Residents from a small Icelandic town under threat from volcanic eruption have described ‘apocalyptic’ existence as they fear for their future.

Last Friday, thousands of Grindavik residents were ordered to leave as the town was rocked by hundreds of earthquakes. The small fishing town is 34 miles from Reykjavík and is home to the famous tourist attraction the Blue Lagoon.

Many have been unable to return to the ‘danger zone’ to collect their belongings, as earthquakes continue to strike the town.

Iceland residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they flee volcano threat

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

Thursday 16 November 2023 20:30 , Tom Watling

Iceland’s town of Grindavik faces a catastrophic countdown to a volcanic eruption that could see its destruction, experts have warned.

Almost 4,000 people were evacuated from Grindavik over the weekend as authorities feared that molten rock would rise to the surface of the earth and potentially hit the coastal town and a geothermal power station.

It comes as the country has been shaken by more than 880 small earthquakes, prompting fears that the tremors could disrupt the Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula in the southwest of the country.

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

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

Thursday 16 November 2023 19:30 , Tom Watling

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

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

Grindavik facing electricity outages

Thursday 16 November 2023 18:30 , Alexander Butler

The Icelandic town of Grindavik is facing electricity outages, according to the country’s civil defence authority.

“HS Orka‘s electrical distribution equipment in Grindavik is damaged in several places due to constant earthquakes and ground deformation.

“It is unclear if, and when, electricity will be back on in the area. An announcement via text message has been sent to users known to be affected by the power outages,” it said.

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Foreign office issues advice to Brits travelling to Iceland

Thursday 16 November 2023 17:30 , Alexander Butler

The Foreign Office has issued advice for British nationals travelling to Iceland amid earthquakes and fears of an imminent volcano eruption.

“Earthquakes and indications of volcanic activity have increased above normal levels on the Reykjanes peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik.

“The Icelandic authorities continue to monitor the area closely, particularly the area northwest of Mt Thorbjorn near the Svartsengi power plant and the Blue Lagoon.

“On 10 November, a Civil Protection Alert was declared after an intense swarm of earthquakes. The town of Grindavík was evacuated as a precaution.

“Some roads have been closed and visitors are advised to stay away from the area. Keflavik International Airport is operating as normal.

“While there is no current eruption, it is increasingly possible that one could occur. You should monitor local media for updates and follow the authorities advice on travel to the area.”

Iceland’s ‘biggest bulldozer’ deployed to help

Thursday 16 November 2023 17:27 , Sam Rkaina

Iceland’s ‘biggest bulldozer’ has been deployed to help build defences in the event of any volcanic eruption.

The Caterpillar D11 weighs more than 100 tons, is 15ft tall and around 36ft long.

It was dispatched to an area near the Svartsengi geothermal power plant on Thursday morning to help create trenches that would reduce the damage caused if Fagradalsfjall erupts.

Over one thousand tremors before 2pm

Thursday 16 November 2023 16:30 , Alexander Butler

There have been 1,200 tremors between midnight and 2pm today on the peninsula, according to scientists.

However, none of the micro-earthquakes have hit above three on the Richter scale for several days. But despite the reduced seismic activity, the risk of volcanic eruptions remains high.

“Due to the release of tension, it is likely that the magma will have an easy way to the surface,” the Icelandic Met Office said.

‘There will likely be an eruption’, officials say

Thursday 16 November 2023 15:35 , Alexander Butler

There will be an eruption of some kind in Iceland over the coming days, despite one expert saying the chance of it happening is 30 per cent, Icelandic officials said.

Speaking to reporters, Kristin Jonsdottir, who is monitoring the seismic activity, said: “No, we think there is still a chance that there will be an eruption.”

When asked about micro-seismic activity underground, she said: “Yes, we are very vigilant about that. And we see it in the last eruptions that it is precisely when these signals start to reduce that it starts to shorten to an eruption.”

A member of search and rescue team jumps over the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)
A member of search and rescue team jumps over the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)

Iceland teachers ask for time and space to ‘process trauma’ of volcano threat

Thursday 16 November 2023 13:56 , Maira Butt

Iceland teachers have asked for time and space to process the trauma of evacuation amid an impending eruption.

The Icelandic Teachers Union issued a resolution urging privacy for Grindavik teachers affected, RUV reports.

The country is known to have one of the best education systems in Europe.

Red zone return going ‘better than yesterday’ according to police

Thursday 16 November 2023 13:30 , Maira Butt

Police report that red zone returns are going well today and report the operation has gone much better than yesterday, according to Iceland news source RUV.

According to the police, there aren’t as many cars waiting at Grindavíkurvégur checkpoints this afternoon.

Only one person per household is allowed to enter.

A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)
A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)

Safety deposit boxes moved from Grindavik bank

Thursday 16 November 2023 13:04 , Maira Butt

Over 150 safety deposit boxes have been moved from Grindavik bank following threats of a major eruption that could obliterate the village.

Iceland news channel RUV reports the boxes have been moved to the bank’s branch in Mjódd in Reykjavík where they will be available to customers starting tomorrow, November 17th.In an announcement on the bank’s website, it is said that the transfer of the boxes went quickly and safely.

An aerial view of the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland (via REUTERS)
An aerial view of the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland (via REUTERS)

Cars are beginning to enter the 'red zone'

Thursday 16 November 2023 12:31 , Alexander Butler

Residents are being allowed to head into the so-called “red zone” in Grindavik, Iceland, which is the area considered to be the most dangerous part of the town.

Only people who have been spoken to are allowed to enter, while local media reports some residents have turned up anyway, on the off chance they may be allowed in.

For a brief window, residents of the town will be able to grab belongings and leave again. Everyone else has been asked to email officials for access, according to Sky News.

Cracks emerged in the town (REUTERS)
Cracks emerged in the town (REUTERS)

‘No change’ in the situation overnight, police say

Thursday 16 November 2023 11:10 , Alexander Butler

There has been no change in the situation in Grindavik overnight, police chief Ulfar Ludviksson has told local media.

“My information is the situation has not changed since yesterday,” he said.

“Our agreement today is that we let people in from Grindavik and those who are allowed to enter the town are the residents we have contacted.

“All the residents who have the opportunity to enter the most dangerous area of ​​the town today have been called.”

An aerial view of the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland (via REUTERS)
An aerial view of the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland (via REUTERS)

Thirty per cent chance of eruption, experts say

Thursday 16 November 2023 09:51 , Alexander Butler

There is a 30 per cent chance of a volcanic eruption in Iceland, according to experts.

Thorvaldur Thordarson, a professor in petrology and volcanology at University of Iceland, said the probability of an eruption was at 30 per cent.

He had previously estimated a 60 per cent chance over the weekend, and a 40 per cent chance on Monday.

A crack in the road following earthquakes in Iceland (via REUTERS)
A crack in the road following earthquakes in Iceland (via REUTERS)

Blue Lagoon to remain closed until 30 November

Thursday 16 November 2023 08:33 , Alexander Butler

The Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most famous attractions, will remain closed until the end of this month due to fears of a volcanic eruption.

It was initially set to close until Thursday but it will now remain shut until 30 November. Its surrounding hotels, spa and restaurants will also be closed.

The situation will be “regularly assessed”, officials said.

The Blue Lagoon is a dream destination for hundreds and thousands every year (Atlas Photography)
The Blue Lagoon is a dream destination for hundreds and thousands every year (Atlas Photography)

Earthquake interrupts Grindavik mayor’s interview

Thursday 16 November 2023 08:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Iceland faces ‘decades’ of instability, experts warn

Thursday 16 November 2023 07:43 , Alexander Butler

Iceland’s south-western peninsula could face decades of volcanic instability, the Icelandic Met Office warned.

“We expect to see volcanic eruptions along the peninsula, not just repeatedly in the same location. This instability could last decades,” the Icelandic Met Office’s Matthew Roberts told the BBC.

It comes as almost 4,000 people were evacuated from Grindavik over the weekend as authorities feared that molten rock would rise to the surface of the earth.

A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik which was evacuated due to volcanic activity (REUTERS)
A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik which was evacuated due to volcanic activity (REUTERS)

Are flights still running amid fears of volcano eruption?

Thursday 16 November 2023 07:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Iceland has declared a state of emergency after hundreds of earthquakes struck the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula in the past 48 hours.

Despite fears of an impending volcanic eruption, flights from the UK to Keflavik international airport 10 miles north of the eruption site are going ahead as usual.

More here.

Iceland earthquakes: Are flights still running amid fears over volcano eruption?

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

Thursday 16 November 2023 06:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

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, writes Simon Calder.

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

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

Thursday 16 November 2023 06:15 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

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.

I am in Iceland. Will I be able to leave?

Yes, assuming the international airport remains open. So far operations have been normal. There are 14 arrivals and departures planned for Saturday from and to the UK, with no signs of disruption to flights.

Simon Calder has more.

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

Reykjanes peninsula could face volcanic instability ‘for decades’

Thursday 16 November 2023 05:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Iceland’s southwestern peninsula of Reykjanes could face volcanic instability for decades, the Icelandic Met Office (IMO) warned amid fears of an imminent volcanic eruption.

“We expect to see volcanic eruptions along the peninsula, not just repeatedly in the same location,” IMO’s Matthew Roberts told BBC, adding that the instability could last for decades.

It cut beneath the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated over the weekend, “almost like an underground freight train”, Dr Roberts said about the magma coursing into the ground that fractured rocks.

He told the broadcaster that residents would have to wait for weeks before they could return to the town. “We’re not expecting an explosive eruption,” he said.“

If that were to occur there would be lava flow to the south, possibly towards Grindavik, and also possibly north and westwards” towards the Svartsengi power station and the Blue Lagoon, Dr Roberts added.

2,000 earthquakes hit Iceland in 24 hours

Thursday 16 November 2023 05:15 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Nearly 2,000 earthquakes have been recorded in the past 24 hours in the magma tunnel at Sundhnukagiga, according to state broadcaster RUV.

Sigríðar Kristjánsdóttir, a natural disaster expert at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, said the situation remained the same as the last few days.

Authorities were struggling to work on repairs due to the lack of electricity in the eastern half of Grindavík, a town of nearly 4,000 people.

Massive cracks appear on roads in Grindavik ahead of volcano eruption

Thursday 16 November 2023 04:45 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)
A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)
An aerial view of the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland (via REUTERS)
An aerial view of the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated due to volcanic activity, in Iceland (via REUTERS)
A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)
A police officer stands by the crack in a road in the fishing town of Grindavik (REUTERS)

Some Grindavik residents briefly allowed to enter town

Thursday 16 November 2023 04:15 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A small number of residents of Grindavik, the town evacuated due to fears of a volcanic eruption, will be allowed to go into the “red zone” to collect their belongings.

Officials will accompany each person, according to state broadcaster RUV.

Only one person from each family has been allotted a few minutes “to collect basic necessities”.

Iceland earthquakes: Huge cracks appear on roads in volcano-threatened town

Thursday 16 November 2023 04:00 , Tom Watling

Roads have begun to crack and buildings buckle under the pressure of underground magma as Iceland prepares for a possible volcanic eruption.

Around 900 earthquakes hit the south of the country on Monday 13 November, with tens of thousands of tremors reported in the region of Reykjanes in recent weeks.

“All roads to Grindavik are closed and traffic on them is forbidden,” the Road Administration of Iceland wrote on Facebook, sharing footage of the damage.

Huge cracks appear on roads in Iceland’s volcano-threatened town

Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon to remain shut till 30 November

Thursday 16 November 2023 03:21 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon spa will remain shut till 30 November amid fears of an imminent volcanic eruption.

The geothermal spa southwest of Reykjavik, which is one of the island’s most popular tourist destinations, was closed on 9 November following a series of earthquakes that hit the region.

“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,” it said in a statement.

“The closure will remain in effect until 7am on November 30, at which point the situation will be reassessed,” it added.

Grindavik couple fear losing their home after evacuating: ‘It’s a pretty grim situation’

Thursday 16 November 2023 03:00 , Tom Watling

A man who evacuated from a town in Iceland after earthquakes put the region on alert for a volcanic eruption said he fears he might never see his home again.

Caitlin McLean, from Scotland, was visiting her boyfriend, Gisli Gunnarsson, in Grindavik when they were forced to flee his home at midnight on Friday, packing only a few essential items, to stay with Mr Gunnarsson’s mother in Reykjavik.

Police evacuated Grindavik after seismic activity in the area moved south towards the town, with a corridor of magma, or semi-molten rock, now thought to be extending under the community, Iceland’s Meteorological Office said.

Grindavik couple fear losing home after evacuating: ‘It’s a pretty grim situation’

Couple cling to each other during Iceland earthquake

Thursday 16 November 2023 02:00 , Tom Watling

A couple cling to one another as their house shakes violently in an earthquake during a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Caitlin McLean, from Scotland, was visiting her boyfriend, Gisli Gunnarsson, 29, in Grindavik when they were forced to flee his home at midnight on Friday (10 November) as his house shook and locals frantically evacuated the area.

Ms McLean, 34, captured the moment the furniture and light fixtures shook violently in Mr Gunnarsson’s home when the volcano erupted.

Police evacuated Grindavik after seismic activity in the area moved south towards the town, with a corridor of magma, or semi-molten rock, now thought to be extending under the community, Iceland’s Meteorological Office said.

Couple cling to each other during Iceland earthquake

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

Thursday 16 November 2023 01:00 , Tom Watling

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

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

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

Thursday 16 November 2023 00:00 , Tom Watling

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.

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

Iceland earthquakes: Are flights still running amid fears of volcano eruption?

Wednesday 15 November 2023 23:00 , Tom Watling

Iceland has declared a state of emergency after hundreds of earthquakes struck the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula in the past 48 hours.

Despite fears of an impending volcanic eruption, flights from the UK to Keflavik international airport 10 miles north of the eruption site are going ahead as usual.

On Sunday 12 November, all scheduled flights from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Manchester landed without incident.

Iceland earthquakes: Are flights still running amid fears over volcano eruption?