Earthquake in North Iceland Leaves People Shaken

The green stars denote earthquakes of M3.0 or more.

The green stars denote earthquakes of M3.0 or more. Map/The Icelandic Met Office

Vala Hafstað

An earthquake of magnitude 4.6 hit North Iceland yesterday at 2:52 pm. It was followed by another one, measuring 4.0 at 5:07 pm, according to the Icelandic Met Office. The source of both earthquakes was nearly 6 km southeast of Flatey island in Skjálfandi bay. Both of them were felt in North Iceland, especially in Húsavík and Akureyri.

The stronger of the two left many people shaken. Kristján Þór Magnúson, director of the local council in Norðurþing, was at a grocery store in Húsavík when the quake hit. “I was picking up lunch…and was holding the door of the cooler when this hit,” he tells K100 radio.

“I must admit I was quite shocked and didn’t know if the door was being slammed in my face,” he relates. “This happened very suddenly, and it didn’t seem to last long. Clearly, it was a very uncomfortable experience. People may not be frightened, but everyone had a very unpleasant experience.”

From Húsavík.

From Húsavík. mbl.is/Helgi Bjarnason

Kristján doesn’t expect major property damage to have resulted, but that remains to be assessed.

In recent weeks, North Iceland has experienced a swarm of seismic activity. “Once in a while, we have felt this series of tremors that has been ongoing north of the country,” Kristján states, “but it has originated at a greater depth than the one we just felt. This one was uncomfortably close, and one hopes a larger event is not imminent,” he states.

Einar Hjörleifsson, natural hazard expert at the Icelandic Met Office, does not rule out that yet another large quake – larger than the previous ones or of a similar magnitude - will hit the area.

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