Volcanic eruption threat forces evacuation in Iceland
Helsinki, Nov 12 : Icelandic authorities announced the completion of the evacuation of the town of Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula following a state of emergency after strong earthquakes rocked the peninsula in the southwest of the country.
Seismic activity has significantly increased since it began on Friday afternoon. The town of Grindavik was ordered to be evacuated around 1 a.m. in the morning, said the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management of Iceland on Saturday.
According to Icelandic radio RUV, 4,000 people were evacuated.
Measurements from the Icelandic Meteorological Office suggest that a lava tunnel may reach the surface. The possibility of magma directly under Grindavik has not been ruled out as of the early hours of Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Elisabet Palmadottir, a natural hazard specialist at the office, told RUV that the probability of a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula has increased with Friday night's events. However, it is currently impossible to determine the location or likelihood of a magma eruption.
The operation of the nearby Keflavik airport continues as usual. Touristic services and tours were already curtailed earlier this week due to continued tremors.