Seismic and Volcanic Activity in Iceland Continues with Serious Consequences


Rescue workers at work at Grindavík. Jóhannesson

A man is missing after falling into a ground crack caused by recent volcanic activity on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula. The incident occurred in Grindavik, a coastal fishing town near the site of a recent eruption, on 10 January.

A man, working on compacting gravel filling in a fissure, disappeared on the morning of 10 January. Search for the man is still underway, unfortunately still without any results.

Rescue workers have discovered that the fissure, which looks relatively harmless on the surface, is widening sharply just below the surface and is estimated to be as deep as 20-30 metres.

The incident, which took place on 10 January, has seriously shaken the inhabitants, some of whom have already moved back or have been planning and pressing authorities to lift all restrictions. All restructuring work that has been going on has been suspended until next week, while scientists and authorities review the conditions. 

The town was evacuated in November 2023 because of volcanic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula. On 18 December, the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland witnessed its fourth volcanic eruption. The fissure eruption ended on 21 December, but seismic activity continues in the area, with the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) warning of a potential new eruption in the coming days. Land uplift in the Svartsengi area is ongoing, indicating a continued accumulation of magma beneath the surface.