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Iceland’s Recent Volcanic Activity

Once again, Iceland is all over the news due to its volcanic fame. The seismic activity over the past week in the Reykjanes Peninsula is unprecedented in modern times, meaning that the country is preparing for yet another eruption. While this activity doesn’t yet have the flare of the lava rivers seen over the past 2 years, the earthquakes near the town of Grindavík suggest that something is imminent. 

Quick Summary:

  • Seismic activity is highly localised
  • Iceland is highly prepared for all eventualities
  • An eruption has not yet occurred
  • Flights are not expected to be impacted by a possible eruption

It’s important to note that Iceland, having a long history of eruptions, is sufficiently prepared for all eventualities. Due to the possible eruption being highly localised, nothing has happened to impact any ongoing or upcoming trips to Iceland.

What Has Happened?

Scientists have been monitoring the area after the eruptions earlier this year, one in July near Grindavík and the Litli-Hrútur Volcanic Eruption in August. Late October saw a series of earthquakes in the southwest of the country, starting around the 24th Oct. As with earlier eruptions, local authorities were hoping that the impending eruption would miss any population centres of the country.

However, these earthquakes gradually made their way in the direction of the town of Grindavík, home to around 3,500 people. Scientists suspect that a magma bubble has appeared underground beneath the town, threatening a possible imminent eruption. As a result, the town was given an evacuation order in the early hours of Saturday 10th November to ensure the safety of residents. This is one of the biggest evacuations in Iceland’s modern history, leaving locals and Icelanders everywhere a little shocked.

While the intensity of the earthquakes has been decreasing since their beginning, experts say that the worst should still be assumed until we know more. An eruption in the town would mean life-changing results for locals, but there is still a chance that the eruption never comes to fruition. The coming days will be crucial for knowing the future for the residents of Grindavík.

The lava plumes from a previous eruption in the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Flights to Iceland

Due to the location and localisation of the seismic activity at this time, it’s highly unlikely that flights into or out of Iceland’s airports will be impacted by eruptions in the coming days. While scientists can detect much of what is to happen, the exact location of a potential eruption and its size will have a large impact. It’s important to remember that eruptions in the Reykjanes Peninsula over the past 2 years have had no repercussions for Icelandic flights.

Up to Date Information

For the latest updates, check out the following links. These will be useful if you’re planning to visit Iceland or are just curious about the current volcanic activity.