Icelandic authorities in Grindavik, Iceland are preparing to build defence walls around a geothermal power plant as seismic activity near Reykjavik has intensified over the weekend. Nearly 4,000 people were evacuated from the area after seismic activity and underground lava flows raised concerns about an imminent volcanic eruption. Although there has been a decrease in seismic activity, the probability of an eruption remains high with nearly 800 earthquakes recorded in the area on Tuesday.
Efforts are being made to construct a large dyke designed to divert lava flows around the Svartsengi geothermal power plant, which supplies power to the entire country. Despite the disruption, operator HS Orka has assured that a disruption would not affect power supply to Reykjavik. Residents were briefly allowed back into Grindavik to collect their belongings, but the town was evacuated again on short notice due to elevated levels of sulphur dioxide detected in the area.
Long cracks running through the town centre and rising steam from the ground has left Grindavik’s main street impassable. Most pets and farm animals have been saved, and many residents have been allowed to return to their homes to gather belongings, while Grindavik remains out of bounds. The Icelandic Meteorological Institute has warned that an eruption could still occur, given the levels of sulphur dioxide present.