Quake rocks Iceland near major volcano

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A 5.2 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Iceland. (Getty Images)
A 5.2 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Iceland. (Getty Images)

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Iceland on Thursday near the Hekla volcano, with tremors felt in the capital Reykjavik some 110 kilometres away, the country's meteorological office said.

The epicentre of the quake, which occurred at 1:21 pm (1321 GMT), was located at Vatnafjoll, a mountain range located on a fissure zone near the larger Hekla volcano which is part of the same volcanic system.

"The earthquake was felt widely in southern Iceland and the capital area," the Icelandic Meteorological Office said in a statement.

No damage or injuries were reported in the sparsely populated area, police said.

Geophysicist Pall Einarsson told public television RUV that the quake and its many aftershocks were not caused by magma movements and were not a sign of an impending volcanic eruption.

READ | Deep earthquake shakes northern, eastern Taiwan

At 1 491 metres, Hekla is one of Iceland's most active volcanoes with its latest eruption dating back to 2000.

Thursday's quake was "most likely caused by plate motion and not volcanic deformation," Kristin Jonsdottir, IMO earthquake hazards coordinator, added on Twitter.

A 5.7 tremor shook southwestern Iceland at the end of February, just weeks before a volcano began erupting near Mount Fagradalsfjall on March 19, 2021.

After spewing lava for six months, the magma stopped flowing in mid-September but it is still too early to say whether the volcanic activity has officially ended, according to vulcanologists.

Iceland is Europe's biggest and most active volcanic region.

The vast North Atlantic island borders the Arctic Circle where it straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a crack on the ocean floor separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
35% - 143 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
65% - 269 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.10
+0.9%
Rand - Pound
20.46
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.13
+0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.85
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Gold
1,834.71
0.0%
Silver
24.29
0.0%
Palladium
2,111.50
0.0%
Platinum
1,034.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
87.89
-0.6%
Top 40
68,186
-2.1%
All Share
74,835
-1.9%
Resource 10
74,924
-3.0%
Industrial 25
94,147
-1.8%
Financial 15
15,076
-0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE