Residents of Southwest Iceland, including the capital area, experienced a series of strong earthquakes last night, August 1, according to the Meteorological Office of Iceland.
The largest registered earthquake was 5.4 magnitude, which occurred around 5:48pm yesterday evening near Grindavík. In total, some 15 earthquakes of magnitude 4 or greater have occurred since Saturday. The recent series of quakes have their origins near Kleifarvatn, a lake and popular nature area in the Reykjanes peninsula.
The recent increase in seismological activity has led to a declaration of a State of Uncertainty in the event that the Fagradalsfjall eruption becomes active again, as similar conditions were observed before the eruptions of 2021. The recent earthquakes are attributed to magma intrusion, which is in line with the pattern from last year, where a series of earthquakes preceded the eruption. However, according to the Meteorological Office, the magma intrusion is small than last year’s. As of yet, hiking trails remain open in the area, and the Civil Defense has not closed off the area.
No significant damage was caused by the recent quakes, but Mayor of Grindavík, Fannar Jónasson, said to RÚV that some damage was caused to a water pipe, which has since been repaired. Fannar stated that although the earthquakes may be uncomfortable, he believes that everyone is well prepared and that all agencies and businesses in the town have emergency plans.
The Meteorological Office warns of the increased risk of rockfall in Southwest Iceland and advises caution near steep slopes, sea cliffs, and other areas where rocks may be prone to fall.