‘Time is up!’ Iceland braces for IMMINENT volcanic eruption as 800 quakes strike triggering ‘centuries of eruptions’

Volcano/cracks in the road/Grindavik sign

Iceland’s Met Office say the 'likelihood of volcanic eruption is high'

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 15/11/2023

- 15:08

Scientists have pointed a river of magma running under the town as a sign that eruptions will become frequent

Iceland’s looming volcanic blast will mark the start of a series of eruptions that will continue for hundreds of years, scientists have said.

The Fagradalsfjall volcano is threatening to blow any day now, with Iceland’s Met Office saying the “likelihood of volcanic eruption is high”.

A 15km corridor of magma has built up under the town of Grindavik in recent days, with over 4,000 residents being ordered to evacuate.

Scientists have pointed to this river of hot liquid rock as a sign that eruptions in the area will become frequent.

A view of cracks, emerged on a road due to volcanic activity, near Grindavik

A view of cracks, emerged on a road due to volcanic activity, near Grindavik


Since midnight, Grindavik and the surrounding areas have been hit by more than 800 earthquakes.

The volcano was inactive for 800 years. However, in 2021, an eruption marked the start of a new era of activity.

This explosion may have kicked off a “new eruptive phrase” which could span centuries, Cambridge volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer said.

His thoughts were echoed by Edward W. Marshall, a researcher at the University of Iceland Nordic Volcanological Centre, who said: “Time's finally up. We can get ready for another few hundred years of eruptions on the Reykjanes.”

Experts say that an eruption is possible anywhere along the “corridor” of hot liquid rock, flowing under Grindavik.


Cracks emerge on a road due to volcanic activity near a police station

Cracks emerge on a road due to volcanic activity near a police station


Fleeing residents reported feeling “seasick” from the heavy tremors and heard “unholy sounds” from beneath the ground.

Grindavik has become a ghost-town, with all 4,000 inhabits given orders to evacuate.

Over the weekend, the Icelandic authorities judged that the risk had temporarily eased enough to allow village residents to quickly hurry back to their houses to pick up pets, valuables, and essential items.

Those who decided to return were escorted by search and rescue teams.

Only one person per household was allowed in at a time and they were given just five minutes to collect their belongings.

Mother-of-four Magga Huld AfaÖmmudóttir, returned to her destroyed home to gather her family’s prized possessions.

An aeriel view of Grindavik

Sinkholes have also appeared across the town


“Friday was terrible, the earthquakes did not stop for many hours, but we left our house Friday night at 9.00pm with clothes for two days and two boxes of photo albums, then just planned to come the next day to pick up more,” she told the MailOnline.

“I feel ok, but get scared and jump at the slightest sound, and then we are homeless in one minute - I've got all kinds of emotions going on,' said the 50-year-old.

“We got to go inside the house on Monday. We had seven minutes to pick up what we wanted to save, but the emphasis was on personal things from my family - my mother, grandmother and grandfather - and clothes.”

As well as the 15km underground flow of magma, sinkholes have also appeared across the town.

Dr Bill McGuire, professor emeritus of Geophysical & Climate Hazards, UCL, said: "Grindavik is very close to the position of the new fracture, and its survival is far from assured. Everything depends upon where magma eventually reaches the surface, but the situation doesn't look good for the residents of the town.”

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