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Earthquake alert level increased

24.02.2021 - 14:38
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: RÚV
The civil protection agency has declared a danger alert for the Reykjanes peninsula and the capital region due to the ongoing earthquake swarm that started this morning. The heightened alert has no direct impact on people’s daily lives and was a joint decision by the State police, the capital region police, Suðurnes police, and the Icelandic Met Office.

All seismic activity has occurred on the Reykjanes peninsula, with reports of activity elsewhere still unreliable. There is no indication of volcanic activity in the region, and the situation is being closely monitored. 

Suðurnes police officers are combing their region to establish what impact the earthquakes have had so far, and a Coastguard helicopter has flown over the peninsula for the same reason. Rocks have fallen from mountainsides and clouds of white steam have been reported from some of the region’s many geothermal areas. 

The Met Office has changed its aviation colour code for planes flying to and over Reykjanes from green to yellow, as is normal when there is widespread seismic activity in the region. 

A statement from the civil protection agency says the danger alert has been issued to help synchronise the operations of important agencies and services and has no direct effect on the public. The danger alert is used to indicate a risk to the health and safety of people, the environment, or infrastructure from natural or man-made causes. The danger alert is not as serious as an emergency alert. 

There have been fewer than five reports of injury from today’s earthquakes—all of them minor. The most common form of earthquake injury is when things fall on people, and civil protection police chief Víðir Reynisson says that has been the case today. He reminds people to check their homes and workplaces to make loose items safe, as further quakes can be expected. 

People are also warned against hiking on mountainsides due to the risk of landslides. 

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