The five-kilometre-long embankments are intended to protect the Svartsinje geothermal power plant. Power was cut off in parts of the city of Grindavik, but residents were temporarily allowed to return after being evacuated.
The Svartsingi geothermal power station, threatened by a volcanic eruption in Iceland, is to be protected with dams. Radio RUV reported on Thursday that the country’s largest bulldozer was brought to the Reykjanes Peninsula early in the morning. The 104-ton device, whose engine, according to the company, can produce more than 860 horsepower, aims to build dams five kilometers long to protect the important power station from lava.
Police temporarily allowed residents to return to what may be the most vulnerable part of the town of Grindavik, south of Svartsinje, to bring their belongings to safety. Parts of the city were without electricity.
Magma tunnel 15 kilometers long
Grindavik is located about 40 kilometers southwest of the capital, Reykjavik, and is threatened by a possible volcanic eruption for several days. Nearly 3,700 residents had to leave their homes last Saturday night because a magma tunnel about 15 kilometers long extends under Grindavik to the sea floor. The nearby Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions, had previously been closed.
The Icelandic Meteorological Authority said seismic activity caused by the magma tunnel is decreasing. However, the head of the department responsible for natural disasters, Kristin Jónsdottir, told RUV radio that the risk of an outbreak remains. “We are very vigilant in this regard. We can see from previous eruptions that exactly when this (movement) decreases, the eruption gets closer.” (APA/dpa)
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