Earthquake update

It now seems the quake was around magnitude 6.1 or 6.2. I haven’t heard any damage reports from Reykjavík, but around 30 people were injured near the epicenter in Selfoss and Hveragerði, none of them seriously, and there was a lot of property damage. One farm outbuilding collapsed, killing a number of sheep, but I expect some houses will have been damaged beyond repair and will have to be torn down.

Iceland lies on top of two tectonic plates that are moving away from each other at a rate of a few centimetres a year, and this causes the earthquakes. Since the big one yesterday there has been an almost constant seismic activity in the area, but only one that was worrying, about 4 on the Richter scale. It is unlikely that we will ever experience earthquakes on the magnitude of the recent one in China, because the really big quakes are caused by tectonic plates that are grinding together.

I think we may have to have an emergency drill at work soon. When the quake hit, we all just sat there like idiots and didn’t try to either get out of the house or duck under the tables. I am pretty sure we would have panicked and run around in circles tripping over our own feet if things had started falling down, instead of proceeding to the exits.

Earthquake in Iceland

I have just experienced the biggest earthquake of my life. At a quarter to four the building started shaking and continued for maybe 10 seconds. They are saying on the news it was a 6.4 to 6.8 on the Richter scale and originated near Selfoss.