Uncertainty Level Declared Due to North Iceland Quakes Skip to content

Uncertainty Level Declared Due to North Iceland Quakes

The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police declared a level of uncertainty over the ongoing series of earthquakes off North Iceland yesterday. An earthquake of a magnitude 3.5 hit northeast of Siglufjörður shortly before 4 am last night.

grimsey_psNorth Iceland seen from Grímsey Island. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Earlier, between 10 and 11 pm the previous evening, another earthquake at a magnitude 3.0 occurred northeast of Gjögurtá and a number of minor quakes have been registered in both areas. There are no indications that the seismic activity is subsiding, visir.is reports.

A level of uncertainty is declared when it is believed that a natural or manmade disaster may occur that in latter stages may jeopardize the health and safety of people, the environment or human settlements, ruv.is reports.

A statement issued by the Civil Protection Department says the decision was made in consultation with scientists and the police chiefs in Sauðárkrókur, Akureyri and Húsavík.

The Civil Protection Department’s council of scientists met yesterday and concluded that in the region currently subject to seismic activity, strong earthquakes occur two to three times per century.

Strong earthquakes are also known to accompany series of earthquakes. The one currently ongoing is the most powerful in 20 years in the respective region, the council pointed out.

It should also be kept in mind that a large earthquake on the Húsavík-Flatey fault might trigger another large earthquake either on the same fault or the Grímsey fault, which lies to the northwest of Kópasker.

People who live in the region or other regions known for seismic activity, should use the opportunity to consider what measures can be taken to limit damages and decrease the risk of accidents, the statement concludes.

Information to that regard can be found on almannavarnir.is.

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