Iceland volcano latest news: Eruption threat high as towns rocked by 80 earthquakes an hour
Searing hot magma is now just 500m beneath an Icelandic town, scientists say.
This comes amid warnings from a volcanologist that the country needs to be prepared for a ‘new eruptive phase’ which could last centuries.
Around 1,100 earthquakes have been recorded since midnight, the equivalent of 80 per hour, according to Iceland’s Met Office (IMO), with gaping chasms leaving the town of Grindavik looking like a ghost town.
While official advice states it is still safe for tourists to travel to Iceland, warnings and a Civil Protection Alert remain in place.
The IMO warned on Tuesday that the volcano, in the Reykjanes Peninsula volcanic region, has a ‘significant likelihood’ of erupting following days of violent earthquakes.
Benedikt Ofeigsson, of the Icelandic Meteorological Office, said magma could now be just 500m beneath Grindavik.
The volcanic activity comes amid the backdrop of thousands of earthquakes over the past week with cracks forming beneath the surface of Grindavik, ripping roads in half, uprooting buildings and closing the nearby tourist attraction, the Blue Lagoon.