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Quakes shake southwest Iceland, at least Mag 5.7

24.02.2021 - 10:21
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Birgir Þór Harðarson - RÚV
A swarm of strong earthquakes continues to shake the southwest of Iceland and is being felt clearly in the capital region, and on Reykjanes.

People became aware of the ground moving at 10.05, and a large number of earthquakes have been measured; including at least three large ones.

The Icelandic Met Office has recorded 25 quakes over Magnitude 3 since 10.00. The first was Magnitude 4.3 and was followed quickly by the 5.7. another one over 5 followed at 10.15.

The swarm is centred 3 km northeast of Fagradalsfjall and has been felt clearly on the Reykjanes peninsula, the capital city, and at least as far away as Snæfellsnes, Vestmannaeyjar, and even Ísafjörður. The largest quake was 3 km south-south-west of Keilir mountain.

Fagradalsfjall is close to the town of Grindavík and the mayor there says no significant damage or injuries have been reported. The same appears to be true in the capital.

An earthquake swarm in the same area in 2017 included 20 quakes over Magnitude three spread over several days, but it is impossible to predict if the same can be expected this time.

Yet another aftershock was clearly felt in the capital at 10.42, and another at 10.43.

People are reminded to stay alert and to secure loose items. Some have reported items falling off shelves, or pictures off walls.

Kristín Jónsdóttir from the Met Office says the swarm this morning was of an intensity she had not seen before and that there appeared to be two active zones. The situation requires close monitoring but appears to have calmed somewhat by midday. Meanwhile, civil protection police chief Víðir Reynisson says reports of damage to loose items has been reported, but not to people or property so far. The Blue Lagoon sent staff home and the spa's manager said he has not experienced a stronger earthquake swarm in his 30 years there.

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager