- The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) has warned that volcanic instability may be experienced in the south-western peninsula of the country for decades, after repeated earthquakes warned of impending eruption in the fishing town of Grindavik.1
- The Icelandic authorities took the decision to build protective barriers around the Svartsengi geothermal power plant in the country's southwest near the capital Reykjavik, amid recent fears of volcanic eruption.2
- Officials said seismic activity decreased on Monday but warned that the risk of an eruption remained high as earthquakes and magma had spread underground in recent weeks, prompting the evacuation of the nearly 4K residents from Grindavik over the weekend.3
- The power plant supplies the entire country with electricity, but an eruption would not affect the capital's supply, according to the plant's operator, HS Orka. Justice Minister Gudrun Hafsteindottir went on public television to say that equipment and materials that could fill 20K trucks were moved to the site.4
- Nearly all of Grindavik's population was given a small window of time to save their belongings on Monday and Tuesday, as large cracks spread through the town center. With the construction of the large dike, authorities say the lava flows around the geothermal power plant will be diverted.5
- Iceland experiences frequent seismic activity and has many active volcanoes because of its location between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, which move in opposite directions.6
- Narrative A, as provided by Science Media Centre. It is unlikely that the imminent volcanic eruption will lead to a disaster caused by toxic gases affecting the whole of northern Europe, as has happened in the past. Though there may be manageable and short-term local effects from toxic fumes, Icelanders have plenty of experience with volcanic outbreaks and are taking necessary precautions, including the evacuation of Grindavík.
- Narrative B, as provided by National Geographic. While there is still a small chance that the magma will not break through to the surface and cause an eruption, in the event of an outburst, the local impact is unpredictable. Recent seismic activity indicates that a huge magma pocket has formed directly beneath Grindavík, which could have devastating local consequences in the event of an eruption. Icelanders must prepare for the worst and hope for the best.