On Saturday, the inhabitants of Grindavik, a fishing village with a population of 3,400, were relocated due to seismic activity that started in an area located north of the town.
The Reykjanes Peninsula, which is the most inhabited area of Iceland, has experienced hundreds of mini earthquakes for over two weeks, leading to a state of emergency being declared by the Icelandic authorities.
The Icelandic Met Office has reported that Fagradalsfjall volcano has had the possibility of an eruption looming for days, and the potential for it to take place is high.
Authorities over the weekend forced the evacuation of almost 4,000 people from a nearby town, and they have been permitted to return only temporarily to get their possessions.
Keflavik International Airport, 10 miles away from the eruption location, has not been shut down and planes are still taking off and arriving just as normal.
When making arrangements to go to or from an area that has been impacted, this is the comprehensive information on the guidelines from European countries and which airlines are still running flights.
Could a volcanic eruption occur in Iceland in the near future?
Last week, a fishing town of 3,400 inhabitants, Grindavik, situated a bit north of there, had to be evacuated due to the start of seismic activity in Iceland.
The Civil Protection Agency has reported that a magma corridor has extended 15 kilometres from the northwest of the town to the Atlantic Ocean, located beneath the surface.
Iceland’s meteorological office has declared that molten rock has risen to an elevated level beneath the Earth’s crust, with a high probability of a volcanic eruption in the near future.
In and the vicinity of Grindavik, there have already been substantial fissures generated from seismic activity on roads and golf courses.
Are there any cancellations in regards to flights to Iceland?
There is worry about what effect seismic activity and eruptions from volcanoes will have on tourism.
The aviation alert in Iceland has been upgraded to orange, signifying a heightened likelihood of a volcanic eruption taking place.
Volcanic activity can be a major risk to aviation since the eruption of ash can disrupt jet engines, impair flight control mechanisms and significantly diminish visibility.
Flights are currently running as planned to the adjacent Keflavik International Airport and all access roads remain open. There have been no cancellations or major delays.
Airlines have announced that customers will be notified in the event of any changes.
In April 2010, Iceland experienced a major volcanic eruption that produced around 250 million cubic metres of ash, leading to the cancellation of over 100,000 flights between Europe and North America over the course of eight days.
Despite apprehension of a reoccurrence, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted with conditions which led to the production of a massive ash cloud. A glacier sitting atop the volcano caused the lava to be quickly cooled by the meltwater, leading to the formation of small particles that were propelled into the air by the steam from the eruption. These particles were then transported to Europe by the wind.
Under other conditions, Fagradalsfjall volcano’s eruption would significantly reduce the likelihood of similar flight disruption. Over the last three years, the Reykjanes Peninsula has experienced three separate eruptions with no effect on air transportation.
EASA has taken measures to ensure they are better equipped to handle a potentially large-scale volcanic ash incident.
The EASA’s website states that, should an eruption occur and an ash cloud form, the agency will collaborate with other entities in aviation to evaluate the effects on air travel and to provide advice accordingly.
Is it a wise decision to go to Iceland on vacation?
The British Foreign Office does not suggest not to travel to Iceland, however, they do alert that a volcanic eruption may be probable.
The Reykjanes peninsula southwest of Reykjavik is experiencing more seismic activity and volcanic indications than usual, according to the official guidance.
The Icelandic government keeps a close eye on the area around Mt Thorbjorn in the vicinity of the Svartsengi power plant and the Blue Lagoon.
On November 10th, a Civil Protection Alert was triggered due to an extensive quantity of seismic tremors.
It is recommended that people not go to Grindavik or its vicinity.
The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has strictly forbidden any travel to the Icelandic town and has warned that all visitors must adhere to the directions and advice of local authorities.
Nevertheless, neither government has forbidden travel to Iceland, so airlines and vacation companies are conducting business as usual. Consequently, individuals who cancel their reservations are not guaranteed a reimbursement.
The Blue Lagoon in Iceland will remain shuttered until the 30th of November due to ongoing seismic movements. This was reported by Kirsty Wigglesworth in 2006 when her copyright was established. All rights are reserved.
Jonathan Frankham, General Manager of World Nomads, a travel insurance provider, wants to emphasize that if the FCO guidance stays as only an advisory, insurance will carry on as usual.
In the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake, flood, or volcano, it is important to review the details of your policy. For instance, if you buy a policy with World Nomads, you must have done so before the occurrence of the natural disaster can be labeled a “known event”, and you must be on an Explorer Plan for potential coverage.
The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations, was shut down on 9 November due to earthquakes and its closure has been extended until the end of November due to continued seismic activity.
An update on its website states that earthquakes could escalate further, likely resulting in an eruption.
At present, there are no signs that the magma is reaching the surface; monitoring of the progress is ongoing.
The areas around spas, hotels and restaurants will also be shut down.
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