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Iceland volcano – live: Met Office issues magma warning as likelihood of imminent eruption remains

A warning over the risks of emerging magma and the persistent likelihood of an imminent eruption of the Icelandic volcano has been issued by the country’s Met Office.

In its latest update, the forecaster warned: “The likelihood of a volcanic eruption at some location along the length of the magma intrusion persists.” It added that the area between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell still faces the possibility that “magma could emerge”.

A fortnight ago, Grindavik was evacuated after magma-induced seismic activity tore vast chasms through the streets of the town. While hundreds of earthquakes are still hitting the surrounding area daily, “seismic activity continues to decrease”, said the Icelandic Met Office, adding: “The likelihood of an imminent volcanic eruption diminishes with time.”

But, speaking to The Independent as international media were allowed back into the town for the first time, one civil protection official told The Independent: “It is still dangerous here ... I have never seen anything like it before. Usually we will have a few minutes warning to get out, but with the weather like it is today, we have even less.”

Key Points

  • 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

  • Peninsula braced for new ‘eruptive cycle’ to bring decades of volcanic instability

Should you visit?

11:16 , Alex Ross

It’s a question many people have been asking. After reading the reports of a possible eruption, holiday-makers are understandably concerned over whether they should still make the trip.

The UK Foreign Office does not advice against travel to the island.

However, it does urge people to stay away from the town of Grindavik, which has been evacuated as a precaution.

This is the latest advice: “The Icelandic authorities continue to monitor the area closely, particularly the area northwest of Mt Thorbjörn near the Svartsengi power plant and the Blue Lagoon.

“On 10 November, a Civil Protection Alert was declared after an intense swarm of earthquakes.

“The town of Grindavík was evacuated as a precaution. Some roads have been closed and visitors are advised to stay away from the area. Keflavik International Airport is operating as normal.

“While there is no current eruption, it is increasingly possible that one could occur. You should monitor local media for updates and follow the authorities advice on travel to the area.”

The town of Grindavik has been evacuated (Barney Davis)
The town of Grindavik has been evacuated (Barney Davis)

‘Majority of the dike at Svarsengi has hardened'

09:45 , Alex Ross

The chances of a volcanic eruption is decreasing as 90 per cent of the dike has solidified, according to the professor of geophysics at the University of iceland.

Speaking to media outlet mbl.is, Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson added: “This doesn’t preclude that there’s still something left and that there’s still an open way the magma could go upwards, if more magma accumulates.

“But the likelihood of an eruption has become considerably lower than it was, among other things, because of this.”

Locations of earthquakes

09:00 , Alex Ross

Map showing the “swarm” of earthquakes around the dike intrusion near the town of Grindavik, in the south west of the country.

 (Icelandic Met Office)
(Icelandic Met Office)

Biggest earthquake in 48 hours recorded

07:53 , Alex Ross

More on that earthquake recorded three miles from Grindavik this morning.

It was part of a swarm of quakes around the dike intrusuion north of the town which lasted for just over an hour, the Icelandic Met Office has said.

It added: “From midnight around 300 earthquakes were detected, the largest 3.0M by Sundhnjúkur.”

In total, there were around 700 earthquakes detected near the intrusion on Sunday.

Despite that number, the Met Office does say that the seismic activity is continuing to decrease. But there’s still concern on the island, as our reporter Barney Davis discovered on a visit.

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

07:00 , Matt Mathers

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

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

Barney Davis reports:

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

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

06:00 , Matt Mathers

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.

Barney Davis reports:

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

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

05:00 , Matt Mathers

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.

I am in Iceland. Will I be able to leave? Simon Calder reports:

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

Watch: Smoke billows from Grindavik crater as rescue underway for fear of volcano eruption

02:30 , Matt Mathers

Watch: Seismologist spots earthquake during equipment explanation

01:30 , Matt Mathers

Watch: Roads with cracks across Grindavik as volcano threatens to erupt

00:30 , Matt Mathers

‘It was like a warning from God’

Sunday 26 November 2023 23:30 , Matt Mathers

Earthquakes shook a church bell in Grindavik like a “warning from God”, a resident has said.

“The earthquakes went on for hours getting worse and worse, the church bells were ringing so loudly it was like a warning from God,” Erling Snær told The Independent.

“We’ve had a lot of news in this town but I hope this time people are looking into it, and will make changes because it is so hard to leave your home.

“It’s hard to think about tourists coming to look at the crack today. But for now I don’t think they will. It’s all so soon. I still believe that something will erupt.”

Erling Snær has lived in Grindavik his whole life but doesn’t know if he will return (Barney Davis)
Erling Snær has lived in Grindavik his whole life but doesn’t know if he will return (Barney Davis)

'I wanted to go over and see the damage but they wouldn’t let me near’

Sunday 26 November 2023 22:20 , Matt Mathers

A Grindavik resident has told how she tried to have a look at the craters but was blocked by workers.

Margaret Eyjolfsdottir, 55, walked her normally skittish whippet Lady on their normal route and seemed reassured in the setting sun, declaring emphatically: “We are going nowhere, this is our home.

“ I wanted to go over and see the damage but they wouldn’t let me near. I think she [points to Lady] understands that it is all over. She is calm and so am I.”

A picture of normality a dogwalker returns to their route (Barney Davis)
A picture of normality a dogwalker returns to their route (Barney Davis)

‘It will definitely become the number one selfie spot in Iceland’

Sunday 26 November 2023 21:20 , Matt Mathers

The crater in Grindavik will become Iceland’s number one “selfie spot”, a volunteer rescue worker has predicted.

“I think it will definitely become the number one selfie spot in Iceland,” he told The Independent.

“If you put up a fish and chip store right there it will do so well. The English will love it there. It is an amazing thing that nobody was injured.

“Everyone is doing differently, some people are really angry others are really happy their homes aren’t damaged.”

 (Barney Davis)
(Barney Davis)

Decision to move residents back to Grindavik ‘difficult - seismologist

Sunday 26 November 2023 20:20 , Matt Mathers

A seismologist has said the decision on whether to return residents to Grindavik is an incredibly “difficult” one that he would not like to be making himself.

“The decision to move back is going to be a very difficult one and I don’t want to make it,” professor Páll Einarsson told The Independent

“Every day now brings a new situation. The last eruption was 1214 since then none until 2021 which is 800 years of slumber.”

He added: “We may now be at the beginning of an active volcanic period for the next two or three centuries.”

Risk has decreased but not completely disappeared, seismologist says

Sunday 26 November 2023 19:20 , Matt Mathers

The risk of a volcanic eruption threatening Grindavik has subsided but has not completely disappeared, a seismologist has said.

“This dyke looks like it could solidify underground and not make it to the surface and that is the most favourable option for the people living there,” Professor Páll Einarsson, who was brought out of retirement to study the thousands of earthquakes rocking the town, told The Independent.

“But the worst case scenario is the magma-filled crack reaches the surface in the middle of the town between the houses of Grindavík. If that eruption continues for the same time it will be wiped out.

“We have to keep in mind this is not just one dyke that is scaring people right now - it is a new chapter of a long story. We’ve had three eruptions already this story is not going to end with this dyke.”

 (Barney Davis)
(Barney Davis)

People of Grindavik can make something ‘positive’ out of quake

Sunday 26 November 2023 18:20 , Matt Mathers

Grindavik can make something “positive” out of the recent earthquake, Iceland’s tourism department has said, suggesting some of the damage to infrastructure could be turned into a tourist attraction.

“When we have destruction from the eruption in the Westman Islands 50 years ago they kept some of the ruins intact,” Snorri Valsson, Iceland’s spokesperson for tourism, told The Independent.

“So most of the damages were repaired but there were sights in town where you could see the actual destruction, houses half covered under lava and ash. So I can imagine they will keep a couple of sights where you could see the actual crack in the ground if it is feasible. It will become an outdoor example, fascinating to see.”

He added: “It has done some damage but I’m sure the people of Grindavík can bring something positive out of it.

“The people have shown incredible resilience you can see that it has had an effect on them. It’s a tight-knit community that’s going to stick together and get back on their feet again.

“As you can see, travel in there is safe so everyone is welcome.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Grindavik sees uptick in tourists following earthquakes

Sunday 26 November 2023 17:20 , Matt Mathers

Grindavik has seen an uptick in tourists after being hit by an earthquake that caused huge craters, a tourism chief has said.

“Grindavík is the quintessential fishing town that has been Iceland’s backbone throughout the centuries,” Snorri Valsson, Iceland’s spokesperson for tourism, told The Independent. “It has an excellent museum already on the tradition of salted fish making, for example.”

He added: “But I see an increase in tourists coming certainly since the earthquake because the infrastructure will be repaired and there’s a history of the events of recent days.

“I could imagine it could be a focus point of the visitor’s centre for years to come because of these events and the effect it had on town life. For Iceland’s economy, it is extremely important Grindavík gets back to normal it has impacted the decisions of the central bank already.”

Snorri Valsson Iceland’s spokesperson for tourism stands in front of a retirement home split in two by the earthquake (Barney Davis)
Snorri Valsson Iceland’s spokesperson for tourism stands in front of a retirement home split in two by the earthquake (Barney Davis)

Grindavik residents given unrestricted access to return on Thurssday

Sunday 26 November 2023 16:18 , Matt Mathers

Residents of Grindavik were given unrestricted access to return to their homes on Thursday after being evacuated.

Some returned to collect jet-skis, cuddly toys and other valuables, Barney Davis reports from the small fishing town.

Others, however, were apparently not prepared to take any risks despite the decreasing chances of an eruption and stayed away.

Grindavik family taking what they can to safety (Barney Davis)
Grindavik family taking what they can to safety (Barney Davis)

Recap: Iceland remains on eruption alert as seismic activity wanes

Sunday 26 November 2023 15:20 , Tara Cobham

Icelandic authorities said on Friday they were still on alert for a volcanic eruption in the southwest Reykjanes peninsula, although the odds were falling after a drop in seismic activity.

Iceland has been living with a high risk of an eruption since seismic activity and underground lava flows increased in the region near the capital Reykjavik in late October.

The Metrological Office said in a statement that an eruption in or near the evacuated town of Grindavik was now seen as less likely and that volcanic magma is most likely to rise in the area between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell.

"Seismic activity continues to decrease," it said, adding that "the likelihood of eruption decreases over time".

Five ministers from the Icelandic parliament visited Grindavik on Friday, where evacuated residents have been allowed back since Thursday to pick up more personal belongings.

But it will be months before they all are able to move back to Grindavik due to infrastructure damage, Icelandic media RUV quoted public safety director Vidir Reynisson as saying.

As a result of a decrease in activity since the start of the week, the risk level related to earthquakes in Grindavik was lowered from emergency to danger level on Thursday, Iceland's civil defence authority said in a statement.

Icelanders reunited with pets after fleeing homes amid volcano threat

Sunday 26 November 2023 14:21 , Barney Davis in Iceland

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 more here:

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

Recap: Watch as town at site of eruption closed by search and rescue roadblock

Sunday 26 November 2023 13:09 , Tara Cobham

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

Sunday 26 November 2023 11:15 , Tara Cobham

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.

Simon Calder, Travel Correspondent reports:

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

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

Sunday 26 November 2023 10:29 , Barney Davis in Grindavík

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.

Read more here:

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

In pictures: On the ground in Grindavik

Sunday 26 November 2023 09:45 , Tara Cobham

Magma-induced seismic activity tore vast chasms through the streets of Grindavik (Barney Davis)
Magma-induced seismic activity tore vast chasms through the streets of Grindavik (Barney Davis)
Matthias and Lana Jonsson were reunited with their pugs Mafia, 3, and Maria, 1, after an excruciating 11 days (Barney Davis)
Matthias and Lana Jonsson were reunited with their pugs Mafia, 3, and Maria, 1, after an excruciating 11 days (Barney Davis)
Grindavik was evacuated a fortnight ago (Barney Davis)
Grindavik was evacuated a fortnight ago (Barney Davis)

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

Sunday 26 November 2023 09:00 , Stuti Mishra

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.

Read more below.

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

Family scared of returning home after earthquakes: ‘We need a stable home’

Sunday 26 November 2023 08:00 , Stuti Mishra

A Grindavik couple have refused to return to their home deeming it not safe enough to raise their new baby after the 5.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the Icelandic fishing town.

Guðjón and his wife Ayça Erişkin, who had their first child on Wednesday, said they had decided not to go back to Grindavik despite setting up their family home there.

Read more:

People refuse to return to Iceland town rocked by earthquake: ‘We need a stable home’

ICYMI: ‘Fountain of lava’ will be produced if the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupts

Sunday 26 November 2023 07:00 , Matt Mathers

“A fountain of lava” will be produced if the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupts, an expert has said.

Bill McGuire, UCL professor of climate hazards, told Metro that it’s also possible the volcano will not erupt.

‘The number of quakes has dropped by around 90% since the peak,” he said. ”But this just means that the rising magma has stopped breaking rock.

“It may already have opened up the fractures it needs to reach the surface, and continuing uplift in the area suggests that magma could be steadily moving upwards prior to eruption.

“Having said this, it is still possible that magma pressure from below will not be sufficient to push it to the surface, in which case it could solidify beneath ground, with no eruption.”

ICYMI: Iceland earthquake - Town of Grindavik could be obliterated if volcanic eruption strikes

Sunday 26 November 2023 06:00 , Matt Mathers

A volcanic eruption could destroy the Icelandic town of Grindavik or lead to extensive ash clouds, experts have warned.

The country has been shaken by more than 2,000 small earthquakes in the past few days, prompting fears that the tremors could disrupt the Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula in the southwest of the country.

Full report:

Iceland earthquake: Town could be obliterated if volcanic eruption strikes

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Sunday 26 November 2023 05:06 , Stuti Mishra

"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."

Read more from Barney Davis here:

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

ICYMI: Iceland earthquake locations revealed as volcano eruption alert issued

Sunday 26 November 2023 04:00 , Matt Mathers

Iceland is experiencing a seismic swarm as 2800 earthquakes have hit the country in just 48 hours prompting fears of a volcanic eruption.

Most tremours have been felt in the Reykjanes peninsula in the southwest of the country where small earthquakes have been felt every day for more than two weeks due to a build-up of volcanic magma three miles underground.

Lydia Patrick reports:

Mapped: Iceland earthquake locations revealed as volcano eruption alert issued

Are flights still running amid fears of volcano eruption?

Sunday 26 November 2023 02:00 , Matt Mathers

Iceland has declared a state of emergency after hundreds of earthquakes struck the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula in the past 48 hours.

Despite fears of an impending volcanic eruption, flights from the UK to Keflavik international airport 10 miles north of the eruption site are going ahead as usual.

Simon Calder and Lydia Patrick report:

Iceland earthquakes: Are flights still running amid fears over volcano eruption?

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

Sunday 26 November 2023 00:01 , Matt Mathers

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.

Lydia Patrick reports:

Iceland residents describe ‘apocalyptic’ scenes as they flee volcano threat

Tourists urged to check official advice before travelling to Iceland

Saturday 25 November 2023 22:50 , Matt Mathers

British tourists considering travelling to Iceland are being told to check official guidance in Iceland before making the trip.

The Foreign Office says travellers should seek advice from the Icelandic Met Office, Safe Travel Iceland and the Almannavarnadeild Facebook page and Twitter (@almannavarnir).

The guidance was issued on 11 November following earthquakes in southwest Iceland and remains in place.

Smoke was seen from holes where residents say cats are hiding because its ‘warm' (REUTERS)
Smoke was seen from holes where residents say cats are hiding because its ‘warm' (REUTERS)

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

Saturday 25 November 2023 20:00 , Matt Mathers

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.

Lydia Patrick reports:

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

‘Fountain of lava’ if volcano erupts

Saturday 25 November 2023 19:02 , Matt Mathers

“A fountain of lava” will be produced if the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupts, an expert has said.

Bill McGuire, UCL professor of climate hazards, told Metro that it’s also possible the volcano will not erupt.

‘The number of quakes has dropped by around 90% since the peak,” he said. ”But this just means that the rising magma has stopped breaking rock.

“It may already have opened up the fractures it needs to reach the surface, and continuing uplift in the area suggests that magma could be steadily moving upwards prior to eruption.

“Having said this, it is still possible that magma pressure from below will not be sufficient to push it to the surface, in which case it could solidify beneath ground, with no eruption.”

File phot: Damage caused from earthquakes and magma beneath the town on November 22, 2023 in Grindavik, Iceland (Getty Images)
File phot: Damage caused from earthquakes and magma beneath the town on November 22, 2023 in Grindavik, Iceland (Getty Images)

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

Saturday 25 November 2023 17:07 , Matt Mathers

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

Read the full report here:

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

Recap: Watch as roads crack across Grindavik

Saturday 25 November 2023 15:30 , Tara Cobham

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:38 , Barney Davis in Grindavik

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.

Read more here:

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Grindavik earthquake risk lowered from emergency to danger level on Thursday

Saturday 25 November 2023 12:37 , Tara Cobham

As a result of a decrease in activity since the start of the week, the risk level related to earthquakes in Grindavik was lowered from emergency to danger level on Thursday, Iceland’s civil defence authority said in a statement.

Five ministers from the Icelandic parliament visited Grindavik on Friday, where evacuated residents have been allowed back since Thursday to pick up more personal belongings.

But it will be months before they all are able to move back to Grindavik due to infrastructure damage, Icelandic media RUV quoted public safety director Vidir Reynisson as saying.

Grindavik family taking what they can to safety (Barney Davis)
Grindavik family taking what they can to safety (Barney Davis)

Met Office issues magma warning as likelihood of imminent eruption remains

Saturday 25 November 2023 12:02 , Tara Cobham

A warning over the risks of emerging magma and the persistent likelihood of an imminent eruption of the Icelandic volcano has been issued by the country’s Met Office.

In its latest update, the forecaster warned: “The likelihood of a volcanic eruption at some location along the length of the magma intrusion persists.” It added that the area between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell still faces the possibility that “magma could emerge”.

A fortnight ago, Grindavik was evacuated after magma-induced seismic activity tore vast chasms through the streets of the town. While hundreds of earthquakes are still hitting the surrounding area daily, “seismic activity continues to decrease”, said the Icelandic Met Office, adding: “The likelihood of an imminent volcanic eruption diminishes with time.”

Daring residents who went back to save pets from evacuated Icelandic town

Saturday 25 November 2023 11:26 , Barney Davis in Iceland

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 more here:

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

In pictures: The chaos caused by the Iceland volcano

Saturday 25 November 2023 10:16 , Tara Cobham

Smoke was seen from holes where residents say cats are hiding because its ‘warm' (REUTERS)
Smoke was seen from holes where residents say cats are hiding because its ‘warm' (REUTERS)
The Search and Rescue roadblock at Grindavavikurvegur (Barney Davis)
The Search and Rescue roadblock at Grindavavikurvegur (Barney Davis)
A resident from the town of Grindavik, Iceland, takes some of their belongings from their house (AP)
A resident from the town of Grindavik, Iceland, takes some of their belongings from their house (AP)

Watch: Residents come back to clear out unstable homes in Grindavik

Saturday 25 November 2023 09:31 , Tara Cobham

Iceland remains on eruption alert as seismic activity wanes

Saturday 25 November 2023 08:48 , Tara Cobham

Icelandic authorities said on Friday they were still on alert for a volcanic eruption in the southwest Reykjanes peninsula, although the odds were falling after a drop in seismic activity.

Iceland has been living with a high risk of an eruption since seismic activity and underground lava flows increased in the region near the capital Reykjavik in late October.

The Metrological Office said in a statement that an eruption in or near the evacuated town of Grindavik was now seen as less likely and that volcanic magma is most likely to rise in the area between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell.

"Seismic activity continues to decrease," it said, adding that "the likelihood of eruption decreases over time".

Five ministers from the Icelandic parliament visited Grindavik on Friday, where evacuated residents have been allowed back since Thursday to pick up more personal belongings.

But it will be months before they all are able to move back to Grindavik due to infrastructure damage, Icelandic media RUV quoted public safety director Vidir Reynisson as saying.

As a result of a decrease in activity since the start of the week, the risk level related to earthquakes in Grindavik was lowered from emergency to danger level on Thursday, Iceland's civil defence authority said in a statement.

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Saturday 25 November 2023 05:00 , Alexander Butler

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

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

Saturday 25 November 2023 04:00 , Alexander Butler

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

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

Saturday 25 November 2023 03:00 , Alexander Butler

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?

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

Saturday 25 November 2023 01:00 , Alexander Butler

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 25 November 2023 00:00 , 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.

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

ICYMI: Iceland residents fleeing imminent volcanic eruption told they face months away from home

Friday 24 November 2023 18:00 , Matt Mathers

Experts have revealed the likely eruption site of a volcano in Iceland, as authorities warn evacuees they may not return home for months.

Iceland has seen more than 1,700 earthquakes in the last 24 hours, according to the country’s Met Office, with most of the activity north of Hagafell.

Athena Stavrou reports:

Iceland officials reveal where volcano will likely erupt

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

Friday 24 November 2023 16:00 , Matt Mathers

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.

Full report:

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

Chances of eruption in Grindavik ‘low’ and ‘decreasing daily' - Iceland Met Office

Friday 24 November 2023 14:27 , Matt Mathers

The chances of an eruption in Grindavik are “low” and “decreasing daily”, Iceland’s Met Office has said.

However, there remains a “plausible” chance of a volcanic eruption between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell.

“Based on the latest data, and considering the evolution of activity since 10 November, the likelihood of a sudden eruption within the Grindavík urban area is decreasing daily, and it is presently assessed as low,” the IMO states.

“It can be assumed that newly emplaced magma beneath Grindavík has solidified partially, thereby reducing the likelihood that the magma will reach the surface within the city limits.

“However, we emphasize that the possibility of a volcanic eruption at some point along the length of the intrusion, particularly between Hagafell and Sýlingarfell, remains plausible.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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

Friday 24 November 2023 13:27 , Matt Mathers

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.

Lydia Patrick reports:

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

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

Friday 24 November 2023 12:30 , Matt Mathers

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.

Barney Davis reports from Iceland:

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

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

Friday 24 November 2023 11:49 , Matt Mathers

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.

I am in Iceland. Will I be able to leave? Simon Calder reports:

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

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

Friday 24 November 2023 10:45 , Matt Mathers

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

Read Barney’s full report here:

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

ICYMI: Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano

Friday 24 November 2023 08:35 , Matt Mathers

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.

Barney Davis reports from Grindavik:

Inside the abandoned Iceland town left in limbo by a volcano