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Largest Quakes to Hit Katla Volcano in Decades

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Largest Quakes to Hit Katla Volcano in Decades

Mýrdalsjökull.

Northern lights playing over Mýrdalsjökull. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Two earthquakes of magnitude 4.6 and 4.5 hit Katla volcano in Mýrdalsjökull glacier last night, followed by a series of aftershocks. These are the largest quakes to hit Katla since 1977, when a 5.1 earthquake was measured there.

Two earthquake swarms occurred in the Katla caldera last night. The first was picked up around 1:30 am and comprised of ten earthquakes, the largest of which was magnitude 2.4. The 4.6 and 4.5 quakes were part of the second earthquake swarm which began at 1:41 am. The area has been mostly quiet since, ruv.is reports.

Natural hazards specialist at the Icelandic Met Office Sigurdís Björg Jónasdóttir said there are neither indications of volcanic activity, nor of a glacial outburst flood. The activity in the Katla caldera is limited to seismicity.

Katla erupted last in 1918, causing hazardous flooding and ash fall. Scientists are monitoring developments in the volcano closely.

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