Imminent risk of volcanic eruption in Iceland: “Now it can go very fast”

Around 4,000 residents have had to evacuate from the Icelandic community of Grindavik, where it is feared that a volcanic eruption may occur.

A 15-kilometer-long tunnel of magma has formed in a fissure 800 meters below the ground, and it can penetrate to the earth’s surface at any time.

– Now it can go very quickly. It can only take a couple of hours. It’s not even certain that you get that much advance warning in this situation, says seismologist Björn Lund.

Not sure – but the risk is imminent

On Sunday, some of the residents of Grindavik were given permission to quickly return to their homes to retrieve valuables and pets that were left behind when the area was evacuated.

Now all that remains is to wait for the population of Iceland. On Sunday, the government gathered for an emergency meeting where it was discussed how to handle different scenarios. It is still not entirely certain that there will be an eruption, and if it does, it is difficult to predict exactly where it will come.

– It is not possible to say where the eruption will take place, if there is an eruption. It is not even possible to say that there will really be an outbreak, but the risk is imminent, says Björn Lund.