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Alert level for Katla volcano raised to yellow — new and powerful earthquake swarm strikes

Saturday, October 1, 2016 21:30
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October 1, 2016 ICELAND – Another quite powerful earthquake swarm hit Katla volcano at 12.03 (12.03 pm) September 30th when several quakes larger than magnitude 3 struck at the volcano. The Iceland Met Office (IMO) has raised the aviation color code from green to yellow in accordance with recommended International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) procedures. This alert is issued when a volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background level.
The police commissioner of South Iceland has sent out units to visit Þakgil canyon and other popular travel destinations close to Mýrdalsjökull glacier, the home of the sub-glacial volcano, to warn people who might be in the area. Scientists are concerned as the volcano’s behavior is quite unusual. The earthquakes’ points of origin are shallow and there are no signs of volcanic tremors, but the experts say the quakes might nevertheless be a sign of an impending eruption. The experts will meet with Iceland’s Civil Protection at 14 (2 pm) to assess the situation.


Color codes are intended to inform the aviation sector about a volcano’s status. Notifications are issued for both increasing and decreasing volcanic activity, and are accompanied by text with details (as known) about the nature of the unrest or eruption, especially in regard to ash-plume information and likely outcomes.  –Iceland Magazine
October 1, 2016: Since midnight, about 22 tremors have registered around Katla volcano, South Iceland, which is considerably less than yesterday, RÚV reports. The largest tremor registered shortly after 3 am and was of magnitude 2.7. By comparison, 230 tremors registered in Katla yesterday, including four earthquakes between noon and 12:15 pm in excess of magnitude 3.
Reporter Gísli Einarsson is in the vicinity of Vík í Mýrdal. He stated the recent seismic activity reminds locals of the days preceding the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Sigþrúður Ármannsdóttir, natural hazards specialist at the Icelandic Met Office, told RÚV it’s impossible to predict whether the seismic activity continues to decrease. Electrical conductivity in Múlakvísl River remains high, but the water level has subsided.  –Iceland Review

Sapientia by Alvin Conway

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