The Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, is hit by a strong 5.6 magnitude earthquake a week after heightened seismic activity erupted on the volcano, which erupted in 2011 and canceled hundreds of flights
- The quake occurred at 1:43 p.m. on Tuesday and was concentrated near Krysuvik, near Reykjavik
- PM Katrin Jakobsdottir was interviewed on live TV when it hit
- "Oh my god, there is an earthquake," she gasped as her house shuddered
- Comes after reports of increased seismic activity at the infamous volcano last week
The Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, was struck by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake a week after the volcano hit, which caused 900 flights in 2011.
The Icelandic Meteorological Bureau said the quake erupted at 1:43 p.m. on Tuesday and was located near Krysuvik, about 20 miles south of the capital. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir was interviewed on live television from home when everything around her started shaking.
"Oh my god, there's an earthquake," she said as she grabbed the desk in front of her and gasped.
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Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir was interviewed on live television from home when everything around her started shaking
The Icelandic Meteorological Bureau said the quake occurred at 1:43 p.m. today and was centered near Krysuvik, about 20 miles south of the capital
"Well this is Iceland!" The 44-year-old prime minister said when she laughed at the bang, saying she was "perfectly fine" and "the house is still going strong".
Meanwhile, Parliament in Reykjavik was also rocked by the seismic movements and dispatched a MP to go to the house for cover.
Pirate Party MP Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson stepped away from the lectern while the speaker, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, sat behind him.
"Just sit quietly, sit quietly," said the elderly statesman to the MP.
It comes after scientists warned last week that Grímsvötn volcano was preparing for another eruption.
The volcano is known for spitting a 12-mile cloud of ash into the air and canceled 900 flights in 2011.
Another Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, erupted in 2010 and this caused far more unrest with around 100,000 flights.
Grímsvötn last erupted in 2011 (picture) and spat a cloud of ash 20 km into the air, which resulted in 900 flights being canceled
Even though Eyjafjallajökull is considerably smaller than Grímsvötn.
Scientists have recorded signs of unrest in the area, with seismic activity suggesting magma is swelling in the volcano's pipelines.
Dr. Dave McGarvie, a volcano expert at Lancaster University, added in an article for The Conversation, "Increased thermal activity has melted more ice, and earthquake activity has increased recently too."
All of these signs point to an impending eruption, and the next signal pundits watch out for is "an intense swarm of earthquakes lasting a few hours".
This indicates that magma is moving up and preparing to blow.
The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) has already increased the Aviation Color Code for the volcano from green to yellow as a precaution.
The icy roof of Grímsvötn means that its eruptions are not as catastrophic as those of other volcanoes.
The ash ejected from the explosion collides with a wall of ice that can be up to 260 meters thick and clumps.
Instead of being a fine dirt that lingers in the atmosphere, it gets wet and sticky and falls out of the air quickly, limiting disruption and damage.
"As a result, clouds of ash move only a few tens of kilometers from the site of the eruption," says Dr. McGarvie.
"This is a good scenario for Icelanders and also for air travel, as it prevents the formation of significant clouds of ash that could drift around and close the airspace."
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