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Iceland. The risk of a volcanic eruption is decreasing. It will be months before the people of Grindavik can return to their homes

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A state of emergency is still in force in Iceland due to a possible volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula on the southwestern tip of the island, although the risk of an eruption is decreasing due to a decline in seismic activity, local services said on Friday. According to the authorities, due to damage to buildings and roads caused by the tremors, residents of the evacuated city of Grindavik will not be able to return to their homes until several months later.

The increase in seismic activity and underground lava flows observed since late October have raised concerns about a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. For this reason, a state of emergency was introduced two weeks ago and the city of Grindavik, located several dozen kilometers from the capital of the country, Reykjavik, was evacuated.

The Meteorological Office of Iceland said in a statement on Friday that an eruption in that part of the country, in or near the evacuated city, is now seen as less likely. “Seismic activity is decreasing,” it said, adding that “the probability of an eruption is decreasing over time.”

As a result of the decline in activity since the beginning of the week, the earthquake risk level in the city of Grindavik was downgraded from emergency to dangerous on Thursday, the Icelandic civil defense authority said in a statement.

Residents will be able to return to their homes in a few months

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From Thursday, evacuated residents can enter Grindavik to collect more personal items. On Friday, this city of less than 4,000 people was visited by five members of the Icelandic Parliament.

However, as Vidir Reynisson from the Department of Civil Protection and Crisis Management said, due to infrastructure damage, the time until people can live in Grindavik again is measured in months.

The city of Grindavik was deserted in mid-NovemberReuters

More than a week ago, the ground level in the western part of Grindavik dropped by more than a meter. As a result of strong tremors, there were numerous cracks in the road surface. The main street has become impassable, and volcanic fumes are coming out of the holes. Buildings were also damaged. Security measures have been erected in the city to stop the flow of lava and, consequently, avoid destruction of buildings and infrastructure on the island.

Iceland, located at the meeting point of two continental plates, is located in an area known for high seismic activity. As a result of the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010, air traffic between Europe and North America was blocked for several days.

PAP, Reuters,, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: Reuters

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