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Earthquake Shakes Grímsey

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Earthquake Shakes Grímsey

Grímsey, Steingrímsfjörður.

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

An earthquake measuring as much as 4.5 occurred 11 kilometers off the northeast coast of Grímsey, the sparsely populated island located 40 kilometers off the north coast of Iceland, RÚV reports. The quake, which took place a little after 7:00 PM on Thursday night, was felt distinctly by Grímsey residents. Two additional earthquakes, both measured at above 3, were also measured in the area around Grímsey yesterday.

In just the last two days, as many as 800 earthquakes have occurred within the Tjörnes Fracture Zone, not far from the island. This area has, in fact, been experiencing a powerful series of quakes, or seismic swarm, since the end of January. According to Professor Sigurjón Jónsson, one of the leading experts on the Tjörnes Zone, this seismic swarm could be an omen of a larger quake to come, although he emphasizes that it’s difficult to predict this with any level of certainty.

“But, of course, when there’s such an increase in activity, a larger quake could follow. And, in reality, if one looks at the history of North Iceland, there large quakes often follow such activity. And it isn’t like this everywhere, but in North Iceland, anyway, if one looks at big quakes over the last century, it’s generally said that there was some activity beforehand. But there are also a lot of tremors in the North that...just peter out. As such, it’s really pretty hard to make any generalizations.”

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