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Iceland. Risk of volcanic eruption near the city of Grindavik. A Polish woman’s account: We are devastated. We’re just waiting for it to happen

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Television sets and pictures started falling off the walls, everything in the kitchen opened, dishes started breaking, said Mrs. Sylwia, who, together with her family of four, evacuated from Grindavik in Iceland over a week ago, told TVN24. The city is struck by earthquakes preceding the expected volcanic eruption.

A large number of tremors have been observed on the Reykjanes Peninsula, located on the southwestern tip of Iceland, for several weeks. Seismic activity increased significantly about 10 days ago, raising fears of a volcanic eruption in that part of the country. The situation is very dangerous because magma flows through underground corridors and cracks, causing destruction on the earth’s surface.

Aerial photos show huge cracks in the road surface in Grindavik, which was evacuated on Friday last week. The main street has become impassable, and volcanic fumes are coming out of the holes. Since last Friday, the level of the western part of the city has decreased by over a meter.

Roads in Grindavik are damagedReuters

“We are devastated. We are just waiting for it to happen.”

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There are also Polish citizens among the almost four thousand people who had to leave Grindavik. Mrs. Sylwia Kunda, who has been a resident of Grindavik for 15 years, spoke on TVN24 about the evacuation and the current situation of her family of four.

– On Friday I went to work, after two (hour – editor) strong earthquakes started, I returned home. I picked up the children from kindergarten and school. We sat down at the table, ate dinner, and it started, she said. As she reported, the quakes came “one after another.” – TV sets and pictures started falling off the walls, everything in the kitchen opened, dishes started breaking – she described.

As she said, she is currently staying with her family in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, approximately 40 kilometers away from the evacuated city, in an Icelander’s private house. Mrs. Sylwia said that residents are trying to find a permanent place to live, “at least for a few months, to enroll their children in school and start working.” She added that the state has provided financial assistance to the city’s residents for a period of two to three months.

The TVN24 interlocutor said that some people still have the opportunity to enter the city and take the most necessary things. – We had this opportunity once. (…) There are a lot of photos left, a lot of souvenirs, clothes. We are devastated, she admitted. As she said, Grindavik “is a beautiful city where we felt safe.” – It is unimaginable that now we are just waiting for it to happen – she said about the expected volcanic eruption.


“The probability of an eruption remains high.”

On Sunday from midnight, as Icelandic media reported in the afternoon of that day, over 800 earthquakes were recorded, the strongest of which had a magnitude of 3.7. The services warn that although seismic activity is currently lower than a week ago, “the probability of a volcanic eruption remains high.” A state of emergency is in effect in Iceland.

Iceland, located at the meeting point of two continental plates, is located in an area known for high seismic activity. In the southern part of the country there is the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, the eruption of which in 2010 blocked air traffic between Europe and North America for several days.

TVN24, PAP, Reuters, ruv.is tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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