(FILE) The red glare from the volcano eruption lights the night sky over Grindavik (L) on the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland, early 20 March 2021 (picture taken with a drone). EFE/EPA/GOLLI / ICELANDREVIEW MANDATORY CREDIT

Iceland declares emergency after series of quakes amid fears of volcanic eruption

Berlin, Nov 11 (EFE).- Authorities in Iceland have declared an emergency following a series of earthquakes near Grindavík, in the southwest of the island in the North Atlantic, and warned of a possible volcanic eruption.

Evacuation orders are in effect for the city 50 kilometers from the capital, Reykjavik.

“At this stage, it is not possible to determine exactly whether and where magma might reach the surface. There are indications that a considerable amount of magma is moving in an area extending from Sundhnjúkagígum in the north towards Grindavík,” Iceland’s meteorological office reported late Friday night.

“The amount of magma involved is significantly more than what was observed in the largest magma intrusions associated with the eruptions at Fagradalsfjall” in 2021, the report said.

The signs are similar to those on the eve of the first eruption of Fagradalsfjall two years ago, and are “very similar to the seismic activity that was measured about a month before that eruption.”

The likeliest outcome, using the Fagradalsfjall eruption as a reference, is for the magma to take “several days (rather than hours)” to reach the surface,” the meteorological service added.

Between midnight and 2pm on Friday, some 800 tremors were registered about three kilometers north of Grindavík, nine of them with a magnitude greater than 3. EFE