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Residents of Iceland town hit by hundreds of quakes return to collect belongings

Reykjavik, Nov 14 (IANS) Residents of a town in Iceland that has been hit by hundreds of earthquakes in recent days, have been briefly allowed to return to collect their belongings amid an emergency imposed over a possible volcanic eruption.

The south-western Reykjanes Peninsula, where Grindavik is located, was rocked by more than 500 earthquakes on Monday alone and over 20,000 since October, prompting authorities to impose the state of emergency on November 10, the BBC reported.

As a result, thousands of people have already been evacuated from the town since a volcanic eruption is still expected despite the quakes being weaker in recent days.

Officials said on Monday evening that Grindavik would remain evacuated overnight, as the situation continues to be monitored on a “minute by minute” basis.

According to volcanologists, the latest updates could indicate a smaller impending eruption than was previously thought but it might still put the town in real danger because of the possibility of lava flows, reports the BBC.

Experts have stressed that a 15 km-long river of magma running under the Reykjanes Peninsula is still active.

The area had remained dormant to volcanic activity for 800 years before a 2021 eruption.

Meanwhile, some locals have said that they were particularly upset as eruptions in Iceland normally happened in unpopulated areas.

A 29-year-old man, who was born and raised in Grindavik and had forcibly evacuated, told the BBC that he feared he might never see his home again.

Another person who returned to the town on Monday to collect his belongings, said while he had not seen any damage in the area he lives in, he had seen images of the town centre, which had been affected.

There were also reports that the road had sunk as much as a metre in some parts.

“If you talk to Icelandic people who have lived there all their lives, they say they have never felt something like that,” he told the BBC.

Iceland is one of the most geologically active regions in the world, with around 30 active volcanic sites.

In July, Litli-Hrutur, or Little Ram, erupted in the Fagradalsfjall area, drawing tourists to the site of the “world’s newest baby volcano”.

The site was dormant for eight centuries until eruptions in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

–IANS

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Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Deskhttps://www.indianabroad.news
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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