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Iceland volcano – live: 120 earthquakes strike as Grindavik anticipate imminent eruption

Around 120 earthquakes have rocked the areas surrounding the town of Grindavik as they await a likely eruption, report the Icelandic Met Office.

It comes as the exact location for an eruption has been revealed by the Icelandic Met Office, which says it “is still considered likely”.

Experts at the Icelandic Met Office have issued a key update after a study of data from GPS stations and satellite images showed an “uplift” continues in the area of Svartsengi, north of Grindavík.

The Met Office stated that the eruption is “still considered likely as the magma inflow continues”, adding that “the highest likelihood for an eruption is in the middle part of the dike between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell”.

Earthquake activity has also led to the deepening of the port at Grindavik, according to RUV.

The change in depth is because of the earthquakes’ impact, said the port manager Sigurður Arnar Kristmundsson.

He told RUV: “The docks seem to have sunk by 20-30 centimeters when we measured about 10 days ago and then there is a chance that, yes, the bottom has sunk accordingly.”

A fortnight ago, Grindavik was evacuated after magma-induced seismic activity tore vast chasms through the streets.

Key Points

  • Biggest earthquake in 48 hours recorded

  • Met Office issues magma warning as likelihood of imminent eruption remains

  • Evacuation zone 'still dangerous' as eruption could occur with only minutes' notice

  • Ground near power plant swells as chamber beneath floods with magma

Is it safe to travel to Iceland?

16:00 , Alexander Butler

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Every resident of an Icelandic town was evacuated due to a volcano. Daring rescuers went back to save the pets

15:00 , Alexander Butler

Hundreds of pets have been rescued from Iceland’s town of Grindavik, after they were separated from their owners over threats of an imminent volcanic eruption.

Charities have taken part in a number of rescue efforts in a bid to save animals in the town with rescuers returning to look for animals.

Cats, dogs, hamsters and even hens were at the centre of rescue efforts after many were left behind following evacuation orders which gave residents minutes to leave. Over 4,000 people were evacuated.

Charities and other organisations stepped in to save the day as many happy reunions took place amid the bittersweet circumstances.

Rescue effort to save pets left behind in Iceland town evacuated by volcano threat

Mount Etna spits lava and billows smoke into night sky

13:00 , Alexander Butler

Moving a bit further south from Iceland stunning footage of Italy’s Mount Etna spitting lava and billowing smoke into the night sky emerged on the morning of 1 December.

Whilst it’s a relatively timid explosion, Mount Etna erupts frequently and creates plumes of ashes that threaten to disrupt Catania’s nearby airport.

The Sicilian volcano is currently in a period of blast activity that began in the middle of November 2023.

Mount Etna is believed to have the longest documented history of eruptions among all volcanoes, with records dating back to as early as 425 B.C.

Mount Etna spits lava and billows smoke into night sky

Key questions answered for residents in Grindavik

11:00 , Alexander Butler

Residents of Grindavik have now been away from their homes for more than two weeks. As uncertainty hangs over when they will be able to return, they were able to put questions to the country’s leaders at an event this week, report local outlet RUV.is.

Here’s a round-up of some of the questions they asked:

Should the town have been evacuated earlier?

Víðir Reynisson, from the Icelandic police force, said it was not necessary to evacuate the town earlier. The first data from 10 November showed that the magma corridor was so far from the town that it would take days or even weeks for lava to flow to Grindavík in the event of an eruption, he said.

When will pipelines be fixed?

Works are underway with the project expected to take place over the winter with completion in early spring.

How you get compensation for a house?

Compensation reflects the damage that has occurred to the property. People have a year to report the damage.

First Grindavik back in business

10:00 , Alexander Butler

A Grindavik restaurant has reopened for business, the first since the town was evacuated due to the looming threat of eruption.

However, for now at least, Varar’s Seaman’s Club is only open for a few hours a day initially.

Owner Vilhjálmur Jóhann Lárusson told mbl.is around 150 people came back through the door for its first lunch service back.

Mr Lárusson said people had tired of having nothing but sandwiches for three weeks.

Scenes from sub zero Iceland as winter approaches

09:10 , Alexander Butler

A reminder below of the conditions in Iceland at this time of year as winter approaches.

The Icelandic Cricket Association has this afternoon posted a clip from an unspecific part of the country. showing the landscape covered in ice and snow.

Temperatures have plunged even further than the UK this week, dipping to -7C in parts of the island nation.

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

07:49 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

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

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

05:00 , Joe Middleton

Residents from a small Icelandic town under threat from a volcanic eruption have described their ‘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

ICYMI: Iceland volcano: Seismologist spots earthquake during equipment explanation

04:00 , Joe Middleton

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

03:00 , Joe Middleton

A sense of trepidation builds on the coach as we are waved through the roadblock that has held back people from returning to the Icelandic town of Grindavik amid an “imminent” volcanic eruption warning.

But the volunteer rescue forces posted on guard duty in battering 32mph winds have to follow the strict instructions of Iceland’s tourist minister. There is a lot of high-speed arguing in Icelandic, and eventually we pass through.

The coach is carrying the world’s media for the first time since the initial 5.2-magnitude earthquake gripped the globe’s attention. But after days of stalemate, fears of Iceland’s economy tanking, and rumours spreading of the entire country disappearing beneath the Atlantic, the government has reluctantly allowed the press to visit the site.

Barney Davis reports from Grindavik:

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Every resident of an Icelandic town was evacuated due to a volcano. Daring rescuers went back to save the pets

02:00 , Joe Middleton

Cats, dogs, hamsters and even hens were at the centre of rescue efforts, reports Barney Davis from Iceland

Rescue effort to save pets left behind in Iceland town evacuated by volcano threat

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

01:00 , Joe Middleton

Residents from a small Icelandic town under threat from a volcanic eruption have described their ‘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

Saturday 2 December 2023 23:00 , Joe Middleton

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

Mapped: Where in Iceland is the volcano?

Saturday 2 December 2023 21:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Iceland volcano could erupt like a ‘can of fizzy drink’

Saturday 2 December 2023 20:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A volcano close to erupting in Iceland could explode like a “can of fizzy drink,” an expert has said.

Iceland’s Met Office has said magmatic gas has been detected at a borehole in Svartsengi, signalling an imminent eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano over the coming days, with the town of Grindavik most at risk.

The small fishing town has already been evacuated following thousands of mini earthquakes across the Reykjanes peninsula, southwest Iceland, over the past week.

Iceland volcano could erupt like a ‘can of fizzy drink’

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

Saturday 2 December 2023 19:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

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

Saturday 2 December 2023 18:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Residents from a small Icelandic town under threat from a volcanic eruption have described their ‘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

Every resident of an Icelandic town was evacuated due to a volcano. Daring rescuers went back to save the pets

Saturday 2 December 2023 17:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Hundreds of pets have been rescued from Iceland’s town of Grindavik, after they were separated from their owners over threats of an imminent volcanic eruption.

Charities have taken part in a number of rescue efforts in a bid to save animals in the town with rescuers returning to look for animals.

Cats, dogs, hamsters and even hens were at the centre of rescue efforts after many were left behind following evacuation orders which gave residents minutes to leave. Over 4,000 people were evacuated.

Rescue effort to save pets left behind in Iceland town evacuated by volcano threat

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

Saturday 2 December 2023 16:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

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

As I write, the Reykjanes peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik, is seething with seismic activity.

Iceland’s main international airport, Keflavik, is just 10 miles north of the town Grindavik. Yet flights are operating normally, which some may find surprising.

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

When will the Iceland volcano erupt and what happens when it does?

Saturday 2 December 2023 15:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

As an imminent eruption looms thousands of Iceland residents await their fate as their town could be wiped out within days.

Thousands of earthquakes rocked the southwestern peninsula of Reykjanes on Saturday 11 November leading semi-molten rock to ravage below the surface as the tremors caused a 15km long dyke to form, cracking the community in two as the ground was pushed upwards.

Some 3,400 residents from the town of Grindavik which lies on the path of the expected fissure vent eruption were forced to evacuate, they described the ‘apocalyptic’ scenes of their much-loved home town as they briefly returned to collect their belongings.

When will the Iceland volcano erupt and what happens when it does?

Iceland braces for ‘imminent’ volcanic eruption with just 30 minutes warning

Saturday 2 December 2023 14:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Evacuated residents are being allowed to return under supervision to collect personal items as the nation is glued to news channels, reports Barney Davis from Rejkavik:

Iceland watches on helplessly as rescue workers escorting locals back to the evacuated fishing town of Grindavik say it is “now a waiting game” before an eruption.

Gripped viewers are glued to main TV News channel RUV.is as it plays a live stream of the glowing crater with modern Icelandic electronic music underneath as the countdown continued on Tuesday.

It comes as 1,200 households scramble to grab as many “heartfelt” objects as they can under observation from rescue teams from the town above the volatile Reykjanes Peninsula.

Iceland glued to ‘imminent’ volcano eruption amid 30 minute warning

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Saturday 2 December 2023 13:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A sense of trepidation builds on the coach as we are waved through the roadblock that has held back people from returning to the Icelandic town of Grindavik amid an “imminent” volcanic eruption warning.

But the volunteer rescue forces posted on guard duty in battering 32mph winds have to follow the strict instructions of Iceland’s tourist minister. There is a lot of high-speed arguing in Icelandic, and eventually we pass through.

The coach is carrying the world’s media for the first time since the initial 5.2-magnitude earthquake gripped the globe’s attention. But after days of stalemate, fears of Iceland’s economy tanking, and rumours spreading of the entire country disappearing beneath the Atlantic, the government has reluctantly allowed the press to visit the site.

Barney Davis reports from Grindavik:

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

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

Saturday 2 December 2023 12:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

As Iceland’s town of Grindavik faces a catastrophic countdown to a volcanic eruption that could see its destruction, we take a look at some of the biggest eruptions in the last decade:

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

Saturday 2 December 2023 11:14 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Stunning footage shows Mount Etna volcano eruption inside snow-capped crater

What to do with Grindavík: Has Iceland’s #1 selfie spot just emerged out of the ground?

Saturday 2 December 2023 10:21 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

From the spectacular Northern Lights to the stunning waters of Blue Lagoon, Iceland is certainly not short of tourist attractions.

But the country may have found another spot for tourists to take selfies in front of, after the small harbour town of Grindavík was hit by thousands of earthquakes.

As fears of an imminent volcanic eruption subside, the town is looking at how best to recover after streets were torn up and residents fled for safety.

The crater left behind in the wake of the chaos spreads from a Lutheran church and nursery all the way through a children’s playground and underneath the fabled Grindavík basketball team’s plush new stadium with the season about to start.

Iceland’s new #1 selfie spot may have emerged out of ground despite volcano threat

Could an Icelandic volcano ground flights like in 2010?

Saturday 2 December 2023 09:55 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

In case you missed this from our travel correspondent Simon Calder...

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. Eyjafjallajokull erupted with a glacier on top. The addition of melting water meant that the lava cooled very quickly into tiny fragments.

These were promptly propelled into the atmosphere to a height of 30,000ft by the steam produced in the eruption. A quarter of a billion cubic metres of volcanic ash were ejected and carried southeast towards the UK and continental Europe by the breeze.

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

Blue Lagoon prolongs closure

Saturday 2 December 2023 08:00 , Shweta Sharma

Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon has temporarily closed all its facilities in the wake of ongoing earthquake activity in the area.

Blue Lagoon said the geothermal spa will remain shut till 7 December and the situation will be reassessed.

“On November 9, Blue Lagoon made the proactive decision to temporarily close its facilities, affecting operations at Blue Lagoon, Silica Hotel, Retreat Spa, Retreat Hotel, Lava, and Moss Restaurant,” it said.

“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.”

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

Saturday 2 December 2023 07:00 , Shweta Sharma

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.

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder writes.

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

‘Ham still on the stove’ A restaurant owner returns to open up first Grindavik business since earthquake

Saturday 2 December 2023 06:17 , Barney Davis

Good news from Grindavík: the first restaurant has reopened - but only from 11.30am to 1.30pm.

Vilhjálmur Jóhann Lárusson, owner of Varar’s Seaman’s Club finally opened his doors again to guests despite more holes opening up around the town.

Vilhjálmur says there was no damage to the restaurant, but when the town was evacuated, the workers were busy preparing a Christmas buffet that was supposed to be on Saturday evening, so the ham was still in the pot when the staff came out.

He told MBL: “We are still grateful for good food as we are tired of sandwiches after three weeks.”

He welcomed around 150 people at the restaurant for lunch on Thursday.

Terrifying video shows Grindavik resident discovering another huge hole

Saturday 2 December 2023 05:00 , Barney Davis

In heart-stopping footage taken on Thursday residents almost fall into a collapsing floor uncovering an enormous hole where the soil has fallen away into a magma tunnel forming under Grindavik.

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Saturday 2 December 2023 03:45 , Shweta Sharma

A sense of trepidation builds on the coach as we are waved through the roadblock that has held back people from returning to the Icelandic town of Grindavik amid an “imminent” volcanic eruption warning.

But the volunteer rescue forces posted on guard duty in battering 32mph winds have to follow the strict instructions of Iceland’s tourist minister. There is a lot of high-speed arguing in Icelandic, and eventually we pass through.

The coach is carrying the world’s media for the first time since the initial 5.2-magnitude earthquake gripped the globe’s attention. But after days of stalemate, fears of Iceland’s economy tanking, and rumours spreading of the entire country disappearing beneath the Atlantic, the government has reluctantly allowed the press to visit the site.

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Live stream of earthquake activity near Grindavik

Saturday 2 December 2023 03:17 , Barney Davis

Danger posed to workers as new hole opens up close to Grindavik

Friday 1 December 2023 23:17 , Barney Davis

A new hole opened up underneath an excavator working around the great chasm that appeared in Grindavík.

“I’m working on a crawler around the big crack and fixing pipes. I was going over it and then it sank under me,” Henry Ásgeirsson, a digger for Jóni and Margeiri told MBL.

He says the area is all cracked and really dangerous.

A colleague Jón Berg Reynisson, took photographs of the opening.

“We never know what lies ahead of us in these jobs, but there the hole was not bigger. The earth can sink down and we don’t know how deep and wide it is,” he says.

“We try to be careful, but anything can happen in this area.”

Icelanders reunited with pets after fleeing homes amid volcano threat

Friday 1 December 2023 19:00 , Alexander Butler

Hundreds of pets have been rescued from Iceland’s town of Grindavik, after they were separated from their owners over threats of an imminent volcanic eruption.

Charities have taken part in a number of rescue efforts in a bid to save animals in the town with rescuers returning to look for animals.

Cats, dogs, hamsters and even hens were at the centre of rescue efforts after many were left behind following evacuation orders which gave residents minutes to leave. Over 4,000 people were evacuated.

Read the full article from Barney Davis

Rescue effort to save pets left behind in Iceland town evacuated by volcano threat

Mount Etna spits lava and billows smoke into night sky

Friday 1 December 2023 17:25 , Barney Davis

Moving a bit further south from Iceland stunning footage of Italy’s Mount Etna spitting lava and billowing smoke into the night sky has emerged on the morning of 1 December.

Whilst it’s a relatively timid explosion, Mount Etna erupts frequently and creates plumes of ashes that threaten to disrupt Catania’s nearby airport.

The Sicilian volcano is currently in a period of blast activity that began in the middle of November 2023.

Mount Etna is believed to have the longest documented history of eruptions among all volcanoes, with records dating back to as early as 425 B.C.

Mount Etna spits lava and billows smoke into night sky