Now that there are strong signs that an eruption in Reykjanes is on its way, a press conference was held to update the public on the situation.
Kristín Jónsdóttir, earthquake risk manager at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, told reporters that at 14:20 today a series of very small earthquakes began which were located very close together in the area which is now considered the most likely starting point for a possible eruption, located just south of Keilir.
Gas from the eruption is a very real possibility following such an eruption, which will definitely be a fissure opening, where lava is poured from a fissure made on the earth’s surface. The petrol will not be particularly dangerous to people but can cause inconvenience.
There is also a possibility that stronger earthquakes may follow the eruption, possibly up to 6.5 magnitude. Although the lava is forecast to move south, it is unlikely to reach people or infrastructure and should not have a significant impact on aviation.
Víðir Reynisson, head of civil defense, emphasized the importance of staying calm. He reiterated statements he made earlier today in which he said no disaster was on the way. The lava does not reach people or buildings, if that happens, so everyone should remain relaxed.
He added that a large number of people in the area, including scientists, warned that people would go to Reykjanes to see the eruption. There are no immediate plans to close the area.
The time frame for the eruption could be as short as a few hours, but the Holuhraun eruption, for example, took two weeks to erupt from the first signs. The eruption itself could last for many days or weeks, but it is very unlikely that it will affect international flights such as Eyjafjallajökull, as the eruption will not have much ash.
Grapevine will keep you informed of any updates when they occur.
Source: The Nordic Page