In a shocking development, the Icelandic Meteorological Office has confirmed more than 18,000 earthquakes in the region last week. Authorities also warned that this rise in seismic activities could result in a volcanic eruption. According to the Meteorological Office, more than 2,500 earthquakes were detected on Wednesday alone, and on Thursday, over 800 quakes were detected on the island.
Iceland to face a deadly volcanic eruption
Authorities revealed that the largest earthquake that jolted the island measured 5.6 on the Richter scale, and a quake at this magnitude is enough to cause damage to weak structures. Geological experts revealed that the sudden surge in seismic activities is centered around Reykjanes Peninsula, a densely populated region in southwest Iceland just south of the capital city Reykjavík.
As earthquakes are happening in the region continuously, authorities in Iceland believe that two volcanoes on the Reykjanes Peninsula – Mount Keilir and Mount Fagradalsfjall could erupt in the coming hours. It should be noted that a volcanic eruption could be the first in this area since the 12th century.
Will volcanic eruption cause chaos in Iceland?
Luckily, seismic scientists believe that a possible volcanic eruption in Iceland will not turn out to be a deadly one where volcanoes spew large amounts of lava and debris into the earth's atmosphere. Instead, the eruption would take the form of a fissure eruption which will be basically characterized by the steady leak of lava from a fissure in the ground.
Even though the reason behind the sudden surge in seismic activities is unclear, scientists believe that this unexpected phenomenon could be the result of an intrusion of magma into the earth's surface.
As a precaution, authorities in Iceland have elevated the volcanic aviation color code for the Reykjanes Peninsula from yellow to orange, which means the possibility of heightened unrest. The orange alert is the third highest form of an alert, with red reserved for an imminent or ongoing volcanic eruption.