Iceland is preparing for a volcanic eruption. Here’s the latest news on evictions and travel restrictions

Iceland remains on high alert, with meteorologists warning of the possibility of a volcanic eruption in the coming days. Grindavik, a small fishing town in the southwest of the country, has been the center of ongoing seismic activity since November 10.

Residents of Grindavik were forced to evacuate their homes after a state of chaos A state of emergency has been declared due to an imminent eruption from the Fagradalsfjall volcano. Over the past six days, constant earthquakes and tremors have torn up roads and divided homes. Visitors were asked to stay away from the area, and roads were closed.

What’s happening in Iceland?

last weekend, Icelandic Meteorological Office The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that following a sharp rise in seismic activity, a volcanic eruption is likely on the Reykjanes Peninsula. As of Thursday, the probability of an eruption remains significantly high.

A map of Iceland showing major cities and the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated earlier this week. (yahoo news) (yahoo news)

Scientists said the magma is believed to be located only 500 meters below the surface of the Earth on the edge of the city, which means an eruption is possible at any moment. In just 12 hours, from midnight to midday on Tuesday, the affected area witnessed more than 700 earthquakes as a result of the movement of magma underground. The largest was measured at magnitude 3.8; However, the majority were considered to be small earthquakes. This may be a sign of a new “eruption cycle.” said Matthew Roberts, who works for the International Maritime Organization.

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How did the government respond?

Authorities in Iceland on Tuesday began the process of building defensive walls around the Svartsingi geothermal power plant to protect it from lava flows. The power plant provides electricity to the entire country.

Residents were allowed to return to Grindavik for a short period on Tuesday to rescue their valuables and collect essential items. “This is one of the largest evacuations we have ever done,” said Áslaug Yngvadóttir Tollínius, who works for the Icelandic Red Cross. He told the BBC. “It’s a huge incident. It has a huge impact on all Icelanders.

For now, Grindavik is still him “ghost town.”

After days of continuous earthquakes, homes and roads split and cracked, leaving some on the brink of collapse. “If you talk to Icelanders who have lived there all their lives, they will say they have never felt anything like this before.” Local Bidraig said About the tremors I felt over the weekend.

A line of cars is parked along a winding highway as residents wait to reach their homes in the fishing town of Grindavik.

Residents in their cars wait to reach their homes in the fishing town of Grindavik, which was evacuated on Wednesday. (Marko Djurica/Reuters) (Reuters)

“The last time an entire large settlement was evacuated was 50 years ago, in 1973, when a volcano unexpectedly erupted on the island of Heimaey off the southern coast of Iceland,” said Dave McGarvey, a human rights researcher. A volcanologist investigates volcanic-ice interactions At Lancaster University in England, according to Yahoo News.

last friday, The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management informed residents And that “it is clear that we are dealing with events that we Icelanders have never experienced before.” But she asked them to remain steadfast. “We will face this together, and we will not lose hope.”

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Could the explosion be dangerous?

“In terms of danger, the obvious concern within Iceland is an eruption within the western parts of the fishing town of Grindavík,” McGarvey explained. “There is a magma-filled rift under this part of the city, and if the magma reaches the surface and explodes, it will destroy and damage many homes and other buildings.”

Steam rises from a crack in a road near the town of Grindavik.

Steam rises from a crack in a road near the town of Grindavik on Monday, after seismic activity. (Brynjar Gunnarsson/AP) (AP)

He added: “This is the worst scenario and is not considered the most likely scenario given the current understanding of where magma is most likely to reach the surface and explode.”

Have any travel warnings been issued?

Multiple main routes Roads connecting Grindavik to other regions have been temporarily closed as a precaution. The methods included are:

No flights were affected as of Thursday. However, Grindavik is located about 40 miles from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, and less than 20 miles from the country’s only international airport, Keflavik.

Blue Lagoon Geothermal Resort, which is a famous tourist attraction, It has been temporarily closed.

A view of the landscape as Iceland prepares for another volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Iceland is bracing for another volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula. (Raul Moreno/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) (SOPA/LightRocket images via Gett)

When was the last major volcanic eruption?

“The last time volcanic eruptions like this occurred in this area was about 800 years ago when the area was sparsely populated,” McGarvey said.

The Reykjanes Peninsula has experienced a relatively small eruption each year for the past three years, and all three eruptions occurred far from residential areas. The last volcano in Iceland to cause international chaos was Eyjafjallajökull, which erupted in 2010. A massive ash cloud that exploded five miles into the sky grounded flights across Europe, forcing its airspace to close.

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