(Reykjavik) The “Blue Lagoon”, a famous tourist site in southwest Iceland, temporarily closed on Thursday due to a buildup of magma in the ground nearby, raising fears of a possible eruption.
Known for its turquoise water pools and luxury hotels, the site “made the proactive decision to temporarily cease its activities for a week” although the alert level was not raised by the authorities “during this period seismic”, it is written on its site.
This closure will be in effect until November 16 at 2 a.m.
A series of mild earthquakes have shaken the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the “Blue Lagoon” is located, in recent weeks.
In total, more than 23,000 tremors have been recorded since October 25, including more than 400 in the last 24 hours, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Institute (IMO).
According to the Icelandic newspaper Vikurfrettir, some 40 “terrified” visitors packed up and hurriedly left the site a few hours before the official announcement of the site’s closure.
Ground swelling, caused by an accumulation of magma 5 kilometers deep, was detected on October 27 by the IMO.
The phenomenon continues at a similar pace without any upward movement of magma – likely to lead to an eruption – being detected at present, the meteorological agency indicated on its site.
Over the weekend, the IMO clarified that there were “currently no clear signs that magma is approaching the surface”, but that the situation could change quickly.
These phenomena are common in this volcanic region, geologists recalled: the peninsula is located on the mid-Atlantic ridge, one of the most important on the planet, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates move apart from each other. the other.
This is the fifth ground swelling observed in the region since seismic activity awoke on the Reykjanes Peninsula in December 2019, after some 800 years of dormancy.