South Iceland Shaken by M5.2 Earthquake Skip to content

South Iceland Shaken by M5.2 Earthquake

By Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir

Photo: Golli. Hekla.

A large earthquake occurred in South Iceland yesterday. The quake originated about 7.5km [4.35 mi] south of Mt. Hekla.

The MET Office to monitor volcanic activity

At 1.21 pm yesterday, an earthquake occurred near the fissure vent system Vatnafjöll in South Iceland. The earthquake was felt by residents of South and West Iceland, including the capital area, the Westman Islands, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, and Búðardalur.

Preliminary measurements indicate that the size of the earthquake was approximately M5.2. The seismic activity started in the area around noon yesterday, and there have been several aftershocks since then – the largest being around M3.

According to the Icelandic MET office, the earthquake originated in the easternmost part of the South Iceland Seismic Zone (also known as the Reykjanes Fracture Zone) which is an approximately 70-km long transform fault stretching from the volcano Hengill to Vatnafjöll. The location and the nature of the tremors suggest that the earthquake is connected to the movement of tectonic plates, i.e. a strike-slip earthquake. Given, however, the proximity of the earthquake’s epicentre to the stratovolcano Hekla, the MET Office will be monitoring volcanic activity closely. There have been no reports of damages in the area.

To monitor earthquake activity in Iceland click here.


This article was updated at 10.35 today.

Screenshot from the Iceland Meteorological Office’s website


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