Three Hundred Earthquakes Since Midnight

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Three Hundred Earthquakes Since Midnight

By Zoë Robert
Map of seismic activity at Bárðarbunga, August 20

A map of the seismic activity in Iceland during the last 48 hours. Photo: Iceland Met Office.

Seismic activity in Bárðarbunga volcano in the northwestern part of Vatnajökull glacier is ongoing. Around 300 earthquakes were recorded between midnight and 8:00 am this morning. The largest earthquake occurred just before 4:00 am and measured 3.0 in magnitude, ruv.is reports. 

Close to 4,000 earthquakes have hit under the glacier since Saturday, making it the most intense seismic activity on record in the region.

According to the Icelandic Met Office, the earthquakes last night and this morning are at a similar depth, around 5-10 km, to those which occurred in recent days.

No signs of migration towards the surface or any other signs of imminent or ongoing volcanic activity have been detected so far.

Precautionary evacuation measures include the closure of roads in the area in part due to the added threat of a major glacial flood in Jökulsá á Fjöllum.

As reported, the area stretching north of Vatnajökull to Ring Road 1 is now off limits to the public. Highland roads in the area have been closed, and local search and rescue teams have been called out to help with the evacuation, including of frequented tourist destinations such as Askja, Herðubreiðarlindir, Hvannalindir and Kverkfjöll.

However, the waterfall Dettifoss, which is in Jökulsá á Fjöllum, lies north of the Ring Road and hence this popular tourist attraction remains open.

Visit the website of the Icelandic Road Administration for details on road conditions and closures. 

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