Data from the Icelandic Meteorological Office shows that the area around Iceland has suffered more than 17,000 earthquakes in the past week. The largest tremor that scared citizens of nearby Reykjavik, one of the biggest cities in Iceland, measured up to 5.6 on the Richter scale.
Luckily, the tremors have caused minimal damage so far to Iceland, with roads suffering the most damage.
Iceland has never experienced many earthquakes in a row
Although the residents of Iceland are used to earthquakes, the amount of tremors currently happening in Iceland is unprecedented. According to a resident, it’s very strange to suffer earthquakes for 24 hours every day in a week in Iceland, adding that he doesn’t remember the last time such an event happened.
Residents that live in a small fishing town called Grindavik have suffered the worst of the tremors, as they are closer to the epicenter. A deputy member of the town’s parliament corroborated the fact that Iceland has never experienced this many earthquakes in quick succession before.
The deputy member, Pall Value, added that the town has gotten used to the frequent shakes, but the tremors have steadily been increasing in number and intensity. Iceland experiences earthquakes because of its proximity to a tectonic plate that is very active.
Frequent earthquakes might be signal for a possible volcanic eruption
Iceland is surrounded by many volcanoes. This has led local authorities to warn citizens that an eruption might occur soon. A specialist in natural disasters told the press that the government is monitoring the situation using GPS, earthquake monitors, and gas detectors.
Elísabet Pálmadóttir, the specialist, added that the frequent earthquakes are a valid cause of concern, as it could be a prelude to what might happen in the future. Based on her estimate, the area might be hit with an earthquake of at least 6.0 on the Richter scale.
Thankfully, images from a volcanic modeling show that towns are safe from the volcanic eruption, but the impact of the gas fumes on the environment will be huge.