40,000 earthquakes hit part of Iceland in 20 days, Islanders left sleepless
Over the last 20 days, around 40,000 earthquakes have hit the south-western region of Reykjanes in Iceland. Scientists are calling these tremors an unprecedented seismic event which might end in a spectacular volcanic eruption. The people of Island are tired and are yearning for some undisturbed nights.
Iceland has recorded 40,000 earthquakes in the last 20 days. These earthquakes have exceeded the total number of earthquakes registered there last year. The earthquakes have rattled the sleep of Icelanders for weeks. The people sincerely want some undisturbed shut-eye.
Grindavik is a fishing town which lies in the southern part of the Reykjanes Peninsula. The peninsula is a volcanic and seismic hot spot where more than 40,000 earthquakes have occurred since Feb. 24.
A lifelong resident in Grindavik, Rannveig Gudmundsdottir said, “At the moment we’re feeling it constantly. It’s like you’re walking over a fragile suspension bridge.” (Reuters)
Gudmundsdottir further added, “Everyone here is so tired. When I go to bed at night, all I think about is: Am I going to get any sleep tonight?”
Many people in Grindavik visited their relatives or even rented a hotel room in Reykjavik, the capital, just to get a break and a good night’s sleep.
Iceland is located between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates. The island nation frequently experiences earthquakes as the plates slowly drift in opposite directions at a pace of around 2 centimetres every year.
The earthquake in the past weeks happened due to a large body of molten rock, known as magma which moved roughly one kilometre (0.6 mile) beneath the peninsula. The rock tried to push its way to the surface. Some of the quakes clocked in at magnitudes as high as 5.7.
The volcanic hazards coordinator at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, Sara Barsotti revealed, “We’ve never seen so much seismic activity.”
Iceland authorities warned of an imminent volcanic eruption on the peninsula in early March. However they said that they did not expect it to disturb international air traffic or damage prominent infrastructure nearby. Experts are expecting lava to erupt from fissures in the ground. It can also result in spectacular lava fountains extending to 20 to 100 metres in the air.