Fewer Earthquakes in Reykjanes

Earthquake activity has gone down significantly on the Reykjanes peninsula in Southwest Iceland, RÚV reports. The Icelandic Met Office measured 200 quakes over the last week, which is a significant drop from the 350 that were measured there the week before.

Also heartening is perhaps that the measured earthquakes were all quite small, particularly compared to those that were measured earlier this year, such as a 5.2 quake near Grindavík in March. Authorities have also been closely monitoring magma accumulation on the peninsula since January. The largest earthquake last week registered at 2.0 and remained localised at the Reykjanes headland.

Earthquake activity around Iceland on the whole also seems to be on the decline. Last week there were 490 total earthquakes measured in the whole country (including Reykjanes), whereas the week before that, 670 had been measured.

Snow-Covered Road in East Iceland Takes Four Days to Clear For the Summer

Summer may have officially started in Iceland on April 23, but you definitely couldn’t tell from the weather in Mjóifjörður, East Iceland, where authorities just spent four days digging a traversable roadway through snow walls of up to five meters [16 ft] in height. RÚV reports that the road into the village there has been more or less closed since October.

Photo courtesy of Vegagerðin

Fourteen people live in Brekkuþorp in Mjóifjörður year-round (up to 40 during the summer), and the village has its own church, school, tourist office, post service, and coffeehouse. Fishing and aquaculture are also local industries. There is only one road into the fjord, however, and given the immense amount of snowfall that it regularly receives, it is only possible to reach the village by sea during the winter.

“We started to dig out [the road] last Friday,” remarked Ari B. Guðmundsson, chief engineer at the Reyðarfjörður branch of the Icelandic Road Administration last Wednesday. “We continued on Monday and around the middle of today, Wednesday, we’d paved a narrow [one-way] path with lay-bys the whole way.”

Photo courtesy of Vegagerðin

The Road Administration has ploughed the road twice since the beginning October: once in mid-October in order to allow Neyðarlínan, the company that manages Iceland’s emergency number [112] to lay fibre optic cables into the fjord, and then again at the end of November so that the equipment could be transported back out of the village.

Snowfall on the roadway has been unusually plentiful in recent years, and considerably more than was once typical. For the time being, only 4×4 vehicles should attempt to use the road, although smaller cars will be allowed after the weekend. The Road Administration will be using snow blowers over the weekend to widen the road for easier passage.

Daði Freyr Releases New Quarantine Jam

Eurovision

Knitwear trendsetter and fan favourite of this year’s Eurovision-That-Wasn’t Daði Freyr has released “Where We Wanna Be,” a new song that finds the fun in our current quarantine moment.

“Stuck at home right now,” sings Daði Freyr, dancing in what does appear to be a playroom in his house. “But let’s enjoy ourselves somehow. That’s all I want!”

Though the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled this year, many countries held special televised programs where they voted on a winning song, and fans in Norway and Sweden voted Iceland’s 2020 contest submission as their favourite of all 41 songs that were submitted this year.

Daði Freyr has said that he would consider representing Iceland at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but in the meantime, fans can take some joy from his muppety dance moves and look forward to his European tour this fall, many dates of which have already sold out.