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Earthquake at Katla No Cause for Concern

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Earthquake at Katla No Cause for Concern

Katla volcano. Photo: Páll Stefánsson

An earthquake at Katla volcano yesterday night does not indicate a pending volcanic eruption, RÚV reports. A series of quakes shook Katla just after 10 pm last night, the largest of which had a magnitude 4.5. Kristín Elíza Guðmundsdóttir, an expert in natural disasters who works for the Icelandic Met Office, says that the earthquake was most likely connected to melting on Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which sits atop the volcano.

Yesterday saw a great deal of seismic activity in Iceland, with two earthquakes measuring around 4 taking place in Southwest Iceland in the afternoon. The first, which originated around Fagradalsfjall mountain on the Reykjanes peninsula, was felt in downtown Reykjavík, and the largest was felt as far away as Akranes, in West Iceland. These were, however, merely the largest quakes on a day in which more than 200 smaller, less discernable earthquakes occurred in Iceland—with three taking place every minute in the afternoon.

The fact that the Katla earthquake occurred on the same day, however, is a total coincidence, says Kristín Elíza, who went on to explain that the earthquakes at the volcano and in South Iceland have no connection to one another. Happily, no earthquakes measuring more than 3 have happened since 11:00 pm last night and neither has any volcanic unrest been measured at Katla.

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