Icelanders have been urged to seek safety as the Reykjanes peninsula experienced a series of earthquakes, even as Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has provided reassurance to citizens amid the seismic activity.
“As we can all imagine, it is a huge decision to ask people to leave their homes at short notice. We all feel how heavy this uncertainty rests on them. Efforts are being made to create a space so that residents can pick up the most necessary items in the building, but always with people’s safety as a priority,” the PM was quoted as saying by Daily Star.
The Icelandic meteorological service detected approximately 900 earthquakes between midnight and early afternoon on Monday (November 13).
Newly captured footage and images vividly illustrate the dramatic fissures emerging in the landscape.
Earthquakes have heightened concerns among experts regarding a potential eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano.
Situated between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, the country has declared a state of emergency. The town of Grindavík, a fishing community, has undergone evacuation, temporarily permitting its 4,000 residents to return on Monday for essential supply gathering.
Commenting on a post on the social media platform X, formally known as Twitter, one person said: “looks like a scene out of 2012”.
The original poster of the footage thought to have been taken from a helicopter above Grindavík, said: “New aerial footage from Grindavik, Iceland, shows a large crack in the centre of the town with apparent steam emanating from it.”
Meanwhile, Icelandic authorities on Tuesday began preparing to build defence walls around a geothermal power plant in the southwestern part of the country that they hope will protect it from lava flows amid concerns of an imminent volcanic eruption.
Seismic activity in southwestern Iceland decreased in size and intensity on Monday, but the risk of a volcanic eruption remained significant, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said in a statement.