The earthquake shakes Iceland near the large volcano


A 5.2 magnitude earthquake shook southern Iceland. (Getty images)

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

The epicenter of the quake, which occurred at 13:21 (1321 GMT), was located in Vatnafjoll, a mountain range located in a fissured area 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 Bureau said in a statement.

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

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

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At 1,491 meters, Hekla is one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland with its last eruption dating back to 2000.

Thursday’s earthquake was “most likely caused by plate movement and not volcanic deformation,” IMO seismic hazard coordinator Kristin Jonsdottir added on Twitter.

A 5.7 quake shook southwestern Iceland in late February, just weeks before a volcano started erupting near Mount Fagradalsfjall on March 19, 2021.

After erupting lava for six months, the magma stopped flowing in mid-September but it’s still too early to tell whether volcanic activity has officially ended, according to volcanologists.

Iceland is the largest and most active volcanic region in Europe.

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


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