May 25, 2024

Balkan Travellers

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1,400 earthquakes in 24 hours, imminent volcanic eruption and state of emergency

1,400 earthquakes in 24 hours, imminent volcanic eruption and state of emergency

On Thursday, the “Blue Lagoon”, a tourist site near Grindavik, famous for its geothermal spas, was already closed as a precaution.

In total, more than 23,000 tremors have been reported since October 25, including more than 1,400 in the past 24 hours, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Institute (IMO).

The Blue Lagoon site, known for its turquoise water pools and luxury hotels, “has taken the proactive decision to temporarily suspend its operations for a week”. Reykjanes Peninsula, where the “Blue Lagoon” is located, has been hit by a series of earthquakes in recent weeks.

Rising magma

A land bulge caused by the accumulation of magma at a depth of 5 kilometers was detected by the IMO on October 27.

The event has accelerated over the past 24 hours, and movement of magma toward the surface was detected this Friday. Real-time data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute indicates that magma is seeping into the Sundnuga crater, about 3 kilometers northeast of Grindavik, the town where the Blue Lagoon is located.

Roads around the bend were cut off by the landslide. A fire has reportedly broken out in a power plant set up in the city.

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These phenomena are common in this volcanic region, geologists recall: the peninsula is located in the mid-Atlantic region, one of the most important on the planet, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are moving away from each other.

This is the fifth bulge observed in the region since seismic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula re-emerged in December 2019, after about 800 years of inactivity.