Iceland has deployed one of its largest bulldozers to dig three-mile-long trenches to stop potential lava flows from impending volcanic eruptions.
The $1.5M, 104-ton Caterpillar D11 will be used in the operation fears of an eruption from the Fagradalsfjall volcano.
The country hopes to minimize the potential strain on infrastructure.
The Fagradalsfjall volcano is located in the southwest of the country, near the capital of Reykjavík.
The trenches will be dug close to the Svartsengi geothermal power plant, which provides heating to approximately 20,000 residents on the Reykjanes Peninsula and another 25,000 in neighboring communities.
Meanwhile, Grindavik, a town close to the volcano, continues to experience severe subsidence as magma amasses.
The Daily Fetched reported:
Massive earthquakes caused homes to split in two due to the build-up of magma beneath the surface as scientists warn of a new era of volcanic eruptions.
The Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula is now threatening to erupt, with authorities anticipating it could happen in the next few days.
After 800 years of inactivity, a new cycle of volcanic activity has begun, as one Cambridge volcanologist warned could now last centuries.
“Time’s finally up,” Edward W. Marshall, a researcher at the University of Iceland’s Nordic Volcanological Center, told Live Science.
“We can get ready for another few hundred years of eruptions on the Reykjanes.”
Iceland is not doin' good.. earthquake's and volcano eruption. Wow! 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/BoIw7eV8QK— 🇺🇲Ultra MAGA Trump Gal🇺🇲 (@RedactedKelly45) November 15, 2023
The region has recorded over 400 tremors recorded since yesterday.
There is now a widening of a 2,000-year-old fissure, according to the Geological Survey, t
The eastern section of Grindavik has now lost power due to ruptures in power lines caused by the earth’s movement.
Experts warn that the magma below the surface may lead to an imminent eruption.
Drone footage as it flies over a volcanic eruption in the Reykjanes peninsula on Iceland— sonofabench (@therealmrbench) November 15, 2023
Could easily be from a Hollywood Movie #Iceland #volcano #Mexico #Popocatepetl #Mexico #icelandvolcano #IcelandNews #Grindavik #earthquakespic.twitter.com/cHoFb1gPFY
The Icelandic Met Office informed police that their meters had detected increased levels of sulfur dioxide, which prompted evacuations.
Geophysicist at the Met Office, Benedikt Ófeigsson, said while the amount of SO2 detected is not high, the increase points to magma being close to the surface.
“SO2 is not released from magma until very close to the surface. It just means the top kilometer,” he said.