Hveragerdi Residents Angry about Manmade Quakes Skip to content

Hveragerdi Residents Angry about Manmade Quakes

Mayor of Hveragerdi Aldís Hafsteinsdóttir said it is unacceptable that townspeople have to live with manmade earthquakes; on Saturday seismic activity caused when water was pumped into the ground by Reykjavík Energy (OR) on Hellisheidi could easily be felt in the town.


From Hellisheidi. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Yesterday, approximately 1,900 minor tremors had been picked up by sensors in the Hengill area since the series of manmade earthquakes began on September 8. On Saturday the largest quakes were of a magnitude of 3.7 and 3.8 on the Richter scale, Fréttabladid reports.

According to the National Energy Authority, the seismic activity will decrease with the continued pumping of water. Pressure in holes that are under observation has increased and might increase a little more but eventually reach a balance.

“Tension caused by movements in the earth’s crust will continue to build up and come loose with earthquakes every now and then. These earthquakes may possibly increase in number but have a lower strength than without the pumping,” the National Energy Authority reports.

“Specialists in this field can say with some guarantee that the pumping does not increase the likelihood of larger earthquakes. […] However, the relocation of tension could speed up larger earthquakes that are coming up anyway,” the report concludes.

According to ruv.is, the National Energy Authority will look into whether it is necessary to carry out a special risk assessment when water is pumped into the ground for the harnessing of geothermal energy close to inhabited areas.

Representatives of OR and the National Energy Authority have invited Hveragerdi inhabitants to discuss the matter at a civic meeting at Hótel Örk in town tonight.

Click here to read more about the manmade quakes.


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