Iceland Declares Emergency Over Volcanic Eruption Threat

Image copyright: Wikimedia Commons

The Facts

  • Authorities have declared a state of emergency in Iceland and ordered residents to evacuate their homes and leave the coastal town of Grindavik after nearly 800 earthquakes rocked the country's southwestern Reykjanes peninsula in 14 hours.

  • On Friday, the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said an emergency was declared "due to intense earthquake (activity) at Sundhnjukagigar, north of Grindavik," which could lead to a volcanic eruption.

The Spin

Narrative A

Iceland is prone to earthquakes and high volcanic activity because it's located on a tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Not much can be done to protect the country from toxic volcanic hazards and hot molten lava, which puts the lives of residents and infrastructure at risk.

Narrative B

While there's no way to accurately predict when exactly an earthquake will occur or whether and where magma might reach the surface, Iceland can reduce casualties and infrastural damage if it stops using its volcanic eruptions to lure tourists who livestream videos of the dangerous natural wonder to serve fresh lava to their Instagram and TikTok profiles.

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