Iceland declared a state of emergency on Friday, a day after a series of powerful earthquakes were reported off the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula, potentially triggering a volcanic eruption.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) reports that in the 24 hours before noon on Thursday, November 9, about 1,400 earthquakes were recorded, and in the first 14 hours on Friday, another 800 earthquakes were recorded.
Seven earthquakes on Thursday were magnitude four or greater; These were all on the peninsula, between the mountain Sillingarfell, which is east of the Blue Lagoon, and Aldvorp, which is close to the airport. cnn informed of.
“The Chief of the National Police has declared a state of emergency for civil protection due to intense earthquake (activity) in Sundhanjukkagir, north of Grindavik,” the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said in a statement.
The administration warned, “The earthquake could be larger than any previous earthquake and this chain of events could lead to an explosion.”
The IMO said the eruption could occur “over several days.”
The Blue Lagoon, located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, is Iceland’s largest man-made geothermal mineral bath, known for its geothermal pools, natural beauty and mineral-rich spa with skin-healing properties. It attracts tourists due to skin conditions.
Blue Lagoon Iceland’s official account on X, formerly known as Twitter, shared that the tourist spot will be closed until 7am on November 16.
“The primary reason for taking these precautionary measures is our unwavering commitment to safety and well-being. Our goal is to minimize any disruption to our guests’ experiences and minimize the continued pressure on our staff,” the message on Blue Lagoon Iceland’s official website read. To do.”
Grindavik, a village of 4,000 people located three kilometers southwest of the registered earthquake swarm area, has evacuation plans in case of an eruption.
According to the IMO, if the accumulation of underground magma at a depth of about five kilometers (3.1 mi) begins to rise toward the surface it could cause a volcanic eruption.
“The most likely scenario is that it would take several days, rather than hours, for the magma to reach the surface,” it said.
“If a crack appears where seismic activity is now at its highest, lava will flow to the south-east and west, but not towards Grindavik.”