REYKJAVIK, Iceland: People in southwest Iceland remained on edge on Saturday (Nov 18), waiting to see whether a volcano rumbling under the Reykjanes Peninsula will erupt.
Civil protection authorities said that even if it doesn’t, it’s likely to be months before it is safe for residents evacuated from the danger zone to go home.
The fishing town of Grindavik was evacuated a week ago as magma – semi-molten rock – rumbled and snaked under the earth amid thousands of tremors. It has left a jagged crack running through the community, thrusting the ground upward by 1m or more in places.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office said there is a “significant likelihood” that an eruption will occur somewhere along the 15m magma tunnel, with the “prime location” an area north of Grindavik near the Hagafell mountain.
Grindavik, a town of 3,400, sits on the Reykjanes Peninsula, about 50km southwest of the capital, Reykjavik and not far from Keflavik Airport, Iceland’s main facility for international flights.
The nearby Blue Lagoon geothermal resort, one of Iceland’s top tourist attractions, has been shut at least until the end of November because of the volcano danger.