Some of the more than 3,000 residents evacuated from an Icelandic fishing town were able to return home briefly to collect their pets and essential supplies, as experts warned the volcano was likely to erupt within hours. Residents were given just five minutes to collect their belongings.
Danielle Rodriguez, an American professional basketball player who plays and coaches in Grindavik, reported on the evacuation on X, saying her team’s practices on Saturday were halted due to “magnitude four and five fixed earthquakes.”
While he and his girlfriend were on their way out of town, their car broke down. They stopped to discuss what they should do, and then fear immediately overcame them.
The ground started shaking so much that I had to hold on to the car and for about 30 seconds, it felt like the ground was opening up and taking us both in. I have never been so afraid in my life
– Tell Rodriguez.
Feder Rennison, head of the Civil Defense Force, told reporters on Sunday that about 30 residents had been allowed to return to their homes for a short period, and that it would be clear on Monday whether more could return after further risk analysis.
A meeting of meteorologists, civil defense officials and experts from the University of Iceland said on Sunday that seismic activity continued throughout the night and morning, with about 1,000 earthquakes recorded since midnight.
Signs of an outbreak
According to a report by The Guardian newspaper, cracks appeared on the roads in the Icelandic city that is prone to volcanoes as a result of earthquakes.
Most of the tremors were recorded at a depth of between 3,000 and 5,000 metres, and the activity was concentrated north and south of Grindavik. According to geophysics professor Magnus Tommy Gudmundsson, the chance of an eruption is high. Grindavík is located near the Blue Lagoon geothermal resort, a popular tourist destination that was closed earlier this week as a precaution.
Iceland has 33 active volcanoes, the most in Europe. The island is located on the North Atlantic Ridge, the rift that separates the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.
At dawn on Monday, you can read on X that the Fagradalsfjall volcano is already showing the first signs of an eruption.
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry has spoken
Consular Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade On his website For those traveling to Iceland, he wrote: People should consider whether they really want to travel to the island nation now.
The information stated that those who decide to travel now are advised to register for the possibility of consular protection, and attention was drawn to the importance of following the news and taking additional precautions.
Meanwhile, Etna reactivated itself
The Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) announced that Etna spewed a large amount of lava on the island of Sicily on Sunday.
A column of smoke rose 4.5 kilometers high above the crater, and explosions could be seen and heard from time to time.
Ash fell on several settlements in the area, such as Milo and Zaferana Etnia, but there were no reports of serious damage. Traffic at Catania Airport was smooth.
La Sicilia newspaper reported that Mount Etna volcano had erupted in Sicily.
The Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology indicates that the height of the eruption column from the southeastern crater was about 4,500 meters above sea level. pic.twitter.com/FHdoEmLstz
—W Wizard SX (@WizardSX0) November 13, 2023
The approximately 3,350-meter-high Etna volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, last having a major eruption in 1992.