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Iceland. State of emergency. Grindavik. “This place is ruined”

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Earthquakes are reported every day on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. Residents of the evacuated city of Grindavik fear for their future as the risk of an eruption remains high. A state of emergency has been declared on the island.

Weak earthquakes have been recorded on the Reykjanes Peninsula for several days. They have a magnitude of less than 3. Although seismic activity remains relatively stable, the risk of an eruption is still high, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) reported on Thursday. According to local media, about 1,200 tremors were recorded from midnight to 2 a.m. on Thursday.

People who have been evacuated from their homes in the town of Grindavik in southwestern Iceland fear for their future.

– Since last Friday, our lives have been reduced to constant waiting. People stand in line to enter the city every day and don’t know if they can get into their home or neighborhood to pick up a few things. This place is in ruins, said Ingibjorn Gretarsdottir, a 53-year-old resident of Grindavik. A state of emergency has been declared on the island.

Seismic activity in Iceland ENEX

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Evacuation of Grindavik residents

On Saturday, November 11, the city of Grindavik, with almost four thousand inhabitants, was evacuated after significantly increased seismic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Such an evacuation has not happened for 50 years. Residents will likely have to wait at least several weeks before it is clear whether they will be able to return to their homes.

– On Wednesday I waited five hours just to go home and pick up a few things. The city looks terrible, it is very difficult to go there, said Grindavik resident Ingibjorn Gretarsdottir.

Iceland could face decades of volcanic instability, the BBC reported on Thursday.

– After an 800-year hiatus, eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula have started again in 2021, which could mean a new “eruption cycle”, said Matthew Roberts of the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO). Since last Friday, the western part of Grindavik has sunk by more than a meter and continues to decline at a rate of about 4 centimeters per day. Iceland, located at the meeting point of two continental plates, is located in an area known for high volcanic activity.

Eruption risk in Iceland.  Some residents were evacuated

Eruption risk in Iceland. Some residents were evacuatedJustyna Zuber/Fakty o Świecie TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: Reuters

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