Earthquake strikes near volcano in south Iceland

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake occurred on Thursday near the Hekla volcano in southern Iceland with a tremor felt as far as the capital Reykjavik, the Nordic country’s meteorological office said. The epicenter of the earthquake, which occurred at 1:21 p.m. GMT, was located in Vatnafjöll, a volcanic fissure neighboring Hekla and which is part of the same volcanic system.

“The earthquake was well felt in many parts of the south and the capital,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said in a statement. No damage or injuries were reported. According to the geophysicist Páll Einarsson, interviewed by public television RÚV, the earthquake and its many aftershocks are not linked to movements of magma and are not precursors of an eruption of Hekla.

Caused by “the movement of the plates and not volcanic deformation”

At 1,491 meters high, it is one of the most active volcanoes in the land of fire and ice. Its last eruption dates back to the year 2000. The earthquake is “probably caused by the movement of the plates and not a volcanic deformation”, abounded on Twitter Kristín Jónsdóttir, responsible for seismic risks at IMO.

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck southwest Iceland in late February, a few weeks before an eruption began near Mount Fagradalsfjall on March 19, 2021. After six months of spitting lava, the flow of magma stopped in mid-September. But it is still too early to formalize the end of all activity, according to vulcanologists.

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