In Iceland, impending volcanic eruption near Reykjavik recedes

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The imminence of a volcanic eruption a few kilometers from the Icelandic capital has “faded considerably”, announced Thursday the Civil Protection of the small island in the North Atlantic, without however excluding it.

“The signs that appeared yesterday, heralding the start of an eruption, have faded considerably,” she said in a statement.

“This does not affect the scenarios that have been developed, in particular that it must always be considered that an eruption may occur,” added the Scientific Council of Civil Protection, which brings together many experts (vulcanologists, geophysicists, specialists natural hazards).

Indeed, signs of magma formation in the seismic activity zone are still observed.

A multitude of tremors typical of a rise of lava were recorded on Wednesday afternoon by seismographs from the Meteorological Institute of Iceland, with the region of Mount Keilir in the small peninsula of Reykjanes, already affected by an important epicenter. magnitude 5.7 earthquake a week ago.

These many vibrations called volcanic earthquakes (tremor) originate from the rise of magma and generally announce a possible eruption.

“Volcanic earthquakes must be taken seriously, as should the possibility of an impending eruption when they are detected,” Vedurstofa Íslands said on its website.

According to authorities, the coming days could see episodes of relative calm alternate with sudden pulses accompanied by volcanic earthquakes similar to those observed on Wednesday.

The eruption, if it did occur, would consist of a small lava flow that would not threaten homes and would have minimal impact on the atmosphere and air traffic.

Iceland is the largest and most active volcanic region in Europe, erupting on average every five years, the last in 2014-2015 in an uninhabited area in the center of the country.

The most famous of the modern era is that of Eyjafjallajökull, in the south of the country, in 2010. Its immense plume of smoke had caused the greatest air disturbance in peacetime, paralyzing the European skies for almost a month. COVID-19 has since dethroned it.