Icelandic Town Evacuated Over Concerns of Volcanic Eruption

Iceland declared a state of emergency and thousands of people were evacuated overnight on November 10 into the 11th, after a significant increase in seismic activity around Fagradalsfjall volcano.

All residents of the southwestern town of Grindavik were required to evacuate their homes and leave the town after the Civil Defence issued a Level of Emergency late on November 10, following evidence suggesting the possibility of a magma tunnel in the area.

The Icelandic Met Office reported that around 800 earthquakes had been detected since midnight on November 11, suggesting the “considerable” likelihood of a volcanic eruption in the near future.

Thorvaldur Thordarson, professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland, told national public service broadcaster RUV, that the chances of an eruption had increased significantly, making it a matter of “hours or a few days”.

RUV opened a live blog to provide updates on the situation.

Local photographer Ragnar Visage flew his drone over Grindavik the morning after the evacuation. Visage told Storyful that he didn’t see anyone while on scene for nearly two hours.

“Feels spooky and eerie to be alone on an empty town”, Visage said, adding that he was eventually asked by rescue services to leave. Credit: Ragnar Visage via Storyful

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