Concerns rise over threat of volcanic eruption: “Even in the worst case scenario, we never thought of it”

“For several days the earthquake was violent, waking us at night, she recalls. But Friday was terrible. By the end of the day, it was still shaking. It seemed like a truck was going over our house every minute. The drawers opened and our dog panicked…and between shakes, he continued to shake. We had no choice but to leave. Hours after Rannveig left, authorities ordered the evacuation of about 4,000 people living in Grindavik.

Big scar

In the space of twelve hours, from Friday November 10 to Saturday November 11, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) recorded less than 500 earthquakes in the region, including 14 magnitudes greater than 4 on the Richter scale. They continued on Sunday. In the morning alone, about 1,000 earthquakes occurred around the fault, all less than magnitude 3. Hundreds of earthquakes occurred throughout the weekend. Cause: The movement of magma beneath the Earth’s crust is a precursor to a potential volcanic eruption. Underground, a magma tunnel forms and ascends at full speed. Located at a depth of 5 kilometers earlier in the week, it was 1,500 meters from the Earth’s surface on Saturday morning and 800 meters on Saturday evening. If “At this point it cannot be determined precisely if and where the magma will reach the surface.” IMO explains, “The volume of magma involved is significantly greater than that observed during large magma intrusions associated with fractalsfjal eruptions.”.

“I don’t think you should wait a few hours or a few days for a breakout. The risk of an outbreak is significantly increased.” Torvaldur Thordarson, professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland, warned on Saturday on public television channel RUV. As of Sunday evening, the lava had not yet erupted to the surface. However, north of Grindavik, a 15 kilometer long fissure occurred. In some places, the city and its environs bear a great scar, leaving neither roads nor buildings, as if they had been cut down. “Anywhere in this fissure could cause an explosion.” Vidir Reinison, the head of Iceland’s civil defense and emergency management, explained to AFP that without excluding the possibility of an explosion at the bottom of the sea, it would cause a large ash cloud.

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Iceland: A town in danger of being destroyed by a volcanic eruption

Stacks of odds and ends

Seeking refuge with friends or family, Grindavik residents now live in fear of never being able to find their homes again, imagining their entire lives being swallowed up by lava. “Even in the worst case scenario, we never imagined this. We always said that volcanic eruptions would not affect the city. So when we left, I told my sons Take the ingredients for two days, when the tremor passes. I was sure we’d be back, Runweek says on the phone, tears in her voice. I can’t imagine the thought of never seeing the place where I was born, where I grew up, where I raised my family.

Not really knowing why, when she left her home on Friday, Briendis took her memento box with her. Inside, this forty-year-old carefully keeps medals, photographs, and traces of his childhood, dividing his life between Grindavik and the capital, Reykjav√≠k, some fifty kilometers to the north. A pile of missing bits and pieces “No financial value” But still “a lot of sentimental value”, She says: “When I took it, I told myself that I was doing too much. I imagined that I would come back a day or two later, like everyone else. In an emergency, some have left their animals behind and are now worried they may never be found again.

On Sunday, a few residents managed to rush back to their homes, accompanied by the police, who collected them and took away some of their belongings. However, in most of the city, it is impossible to perform such an operation: magma is waiting and risks, at any time, reaching the surface. “I try to control myself by not watching the news all the time. But really, all I can think about is, Inhales Brindis. For two days, in the morning, when I wake up, I look at my phone with the same question: Did the volcano erupt?

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