The town of Grindavík on the Reykjanes peninsula has been succesfully evacuated amid concerns that the intrusion of magma, believed to extend beneath the town, may reach the surface. An emergency phase has been declared, and the Red Cross has set up three emergency relief centres.
The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, in collaboration with the Suðurnes Police, has declared an emergency phase owing to seismic activity in the Reykjanes peninsula. A mandatory evacuation of the town of Grindavík has been completed. The evacuation order was put into effect amid concerns that the intrusion of magma, which is believed to extend beneath the town of Grindavík, may reach the surface. The volume of magma that has accumulated has surpassed that of the previous three eruptions in the area.
A residential facility for disabled individuals and a nursing home for the elderly, severely damaged in recent earthquakes, were evacuated last night prior to the mandatory evacuation being imposed.
Not since the Westman Islands
During a press conference after 11 PM yesterday, Víðir Reynisson, Head of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, reminded residents that the evacuation was mandatory and was being carried out with the safety of the residents in mind. The Icelandic Meteorological Office’s instruments show clear signs of magma movement towards the surface.
“It is clear that we are dealing with events that we Icelanders have not experienced before, at least not since the eruption in the Westman Islands. We faced that together, we will face this together, and we will not be disheartened,” Víðir observed.
Grindavíkurvegur, a road leading to Grindavík from Reykjanesbrautin, was also closed last night due to a large crack that formed in the middle of it. The Road Administration has completed emergency repairs, but the road will remain closed.
Three emergency relief centres opened
The Red Cross has opened three emergency relief centres. These are located at Vallarskóli in Selfoss, the sports hall near Sunnubraut in Reykjanesbær, and Kórinn in Kópavogur. Domino’s has announced that it will deliver pizza to individuals staying at relief centres.
Residents of Grindavík who do not go to the emergency relief centres are asked to report their location by calling 1717. For more information on the seismic activity in Reykjanes, click here.
This article will be updated.