The quake of magnitude 5.6 struck shortly before 14.00 yesterday afternoon and had its epicentre near Krýsuvík, a few kilometres west of Kleifarvatn lake, on the Reykjanes peninsula. It caused at least one landslide close to the site, and products tumbled off the shelves at the Krónan branch at Grandi, Reykjavík. Interestingly, most other shops (including branches of the same supermarket chain) report losing few or no products.
The video above is in Icelandic, but features footage of the earthquake from several locations.
The quake is part of a swarm of seismic activity in the area and there have been over 900 aftershocks—including 140 over magnitude 2.5. 27 of those were greater than magnitude 3, and two were larger than magnitude 4. Both of those largest quakes took place around 15.30 yesterday afternoon and were also widely noticed by people. A 3.7 quake also grabbed attention at around 06.00 this morning.
There has been a lot of seismic activity this year on the Reykjanes peninsula, mostly centred close to the town of Grindavík, where the land has risen by as much as ten centimetres in a year. Earthquakes have not been common in the precise location of yesterday’s quake, however.
Iceland experiences dozens of earthquakes every day, though most are either too small to be felt or are in uninhabited areas. Residents in the capital region do report feeling a quake every month or two, but yesterday’s was significantly stronger than usual. It was the most disruptive since May 2008, when a magnitude 6.3 quake struck South Iceland, causing damage to property in the area. Its epicentre was further from the capital and yesterday’s was felt more clearly in the city, many believe.