Reykjavik – The earth is always boiling in Iceland, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are part of everyday life there. Nevertheless, people in Iceland are a bit excited at the moment, as a volcano that is considered to be extinct may be about to erupt.
Mount Keilir is located in the southwest of the country on the Reykjanes peninsula. Since the end of February there has been a veritable series of earthquakes in this area. On Wednesday, authorities recorded a series of smaller quakes that followed one another very quickly. Also on Thursday it remained restless near the 378 meter high mountain.
The strongest quake occurred in the last few weeks on February 24th and had a magnitude of 5.6 on the Richter scale.
A kind of trench is visible in the region, but no cracks were found. Corresponding data are still being evaluated.
The Keilir is actually an extinct volcano, but it belongs to the active volcanic system of the Trölladyngja. Iceland lies on the plate boundary where the North American and Eurasian continental plates drift apart. Translated, Keilir means cone. The volcano also lies like a small harmless cone in the middle of the landscape.
The permanent tremor of the peninsula now called the authorities on the scene. Civil protection chief Víðir Reynisson and Kristín Jónsdóttir, the head of the natural disaster department at the weather service, discussed the possible scenarios of a volcanic eruption with the geophysicist Freysteinn Sæmundsson.
The scientists suspect that magma is approaching the surface of the earth. Should an outbreak occur, there would be no threat to built-up land. An ash rain like the last one in 2014 is not to be feared.
If the extinct keilir erupted now, it would be a historic event, as the last keilir eruption was over 10,000 years ago.
The next place is Grindavik, it has 3300 inhabitants. So far, no evacuation measures have been taken. Helicopters regularly fly over the site for control purposes.
The civil defense chief urged citizens to stay away from the region. The weather is unfavorable and the scientists have to go about their work in peace.
There is no time frame for a possible eruption.
The ash monster from 2010
The fear of the eruption in Iceland brings back bad memories of the spring of 2010. At that time, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted and a huge 7000 meter high ash cloud paralyzed air traffic in large parts of northern and central Europe.
The result: 300,000 German travelers were stuck abroad. 1.3 billion euros in damage for airlines and for the Icelanders life became hell: the volcanic ashes covered cities and villages, people had to be evacuated, crops were destroyed, animals were poisoned.
The Icelandic newspaper MBL installed a web cam. If you want, you can follow the activities in the restless corner of the island live. However, you have to be patient every now and then. Due to the numerous earthquakes and the stormy weather, the cam fails every now and then.