There are areas of the planet where earthquakes happen more frequently than others, and the residents of those locations got used to it over time.
One such area is Iceland.
In Iceland, earthquakes are common because they straddle two of the planet’s tectonic plates – the Eurasian and North American plates.
They remain separated by an undersea mountain chain known as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which erupts molten rock from deep within our planet.
Though the earthquakes are common, nobody was prepared for what happened last week – 18,000 thousand earthquakes hit the country. The earthquakes started on February 24 with a magnitude of 5.7, and a thousand smaller ones followed.
In an interview with CNN, Reykjavik resident Auður Alfa Ólafsdóttir said:
“I have experienced earthquakes before but never so many in a row […] It is very unusual to feel the Earth shake 24 hours a day for a whole week. It makes you feel very small and powerless against nature.”
Geophysicists and volcanologists stated that the seismic activity on the island intensified since December 2019. Though volcanoes in the southwestern area of the country remained mostly inactive for about 800 years, they believe that their inactivity is coming to an end.
Experts believe that the events in Iceland are the peak of more than a year of intense seismic activity and that similar tremors have been noticed ahead of volcanic eruptions in the past.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office stated that the quakes are likely the result of magma movements, which is quite alarming for residents.
They are not frightened by the Earthquakes themselves, but the duration of over a week is alarming.