Series of Minor Earthquakes in Northeast Iceland Skip to content

Series of Minor Earthquakes in Northeast Iceland

Almost 30 minor earthquakes were picked up by sensors approximately 13 kilometers west of Kópasker in Northeast Iceland last night and this morning, starting at around 3 am, the strongest of which had a 3.0 magnitude.

grimsey-field-sheep_psFrom Grímsey, North Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The Icelandic Met Office had not received any reports from inhabitants in the area that they had felt the earthquake, ruv.is reports.

“It was in a different location than what we have observed in Eyjafjarðaráll, this was in the so-called Grímey belt,” explained Sigþrúður Ármannsdóttir, an expert in seismic activity risk at the Met Office.

Recently, several strong earthquakes have hit off the mouth of Eyjafjörður fjord in North Iceland, an area known as Eyjafjarðaráll.

Seismologists have theorized that the activity may move eastwards and expressed concern that tension is building up, which might lead to an earthquake as strong as of 6.8 magnitude.

In 1976, a 6.2 earthquake hit near Kópasker, causing severe damage, and seismologists have pointed out that such strong earthquakes occur a few times every century.

The Civil Protection Department has declared a level of uncertainty over the situation and inhabitants in the region have been asked to prepare for such a scenario.

However, Sigþrúður stated that the current activity doesn’t necessarily mean that a larger earthquake will follow. “We often see earthquake swarms in Öxarfjörður but of course we can never rule out that something more serious will occur.”

Related stories:

October 29 | Continued Seismic Activity in North Iceland

ESA

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