Construction Blast Mistaken for Earthquake Skip to content

Construction Blast Mistaken for Earthquake

Residents of the Hafnarfjörður in Southwest Iceland have twice been shaken by planned blasts on the seabed of the town harbour, RÚV reports. The blasts are part of construction work on a new steel seawall, but some locals mistook a planned explosion on Friday for an earthquake.

According to an article on, the seawall will be 110 metres [360 feet] long and will run in front of Suðurhöfn, or South Harbour. This will then become the primary port for the research vessel of the Marine and Research Institute, which will be moving its offices to the site later this year. An underwater trench needs to be created in order to complete construction on the seawall, hence the blasts. So far, there have been three blasts, and it’s expected that there will be two to three more in the next two weeks as construction continues.

The blast on Friday occurred around 1:30 pm. Just after this, the Icelandic Met Office received a number of calls from residents in Hafnarfjörður and nearby Garðabær about the aftershocks, which they believed resulted from an earthquake.

People in the area can refer to for news of when the next blast will take place. An alarm will also sound three times the explosion takes place to warn people in the area.


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