5.6 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Reykjavik | Videos

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Svanhildur Sif Halldórsdóttir

Svanhildur Sif Halldórsdóttir

Today, shortly before 2 PM, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake rocked Iceland's capital city, Reykjavík. The quake originated near Lake Kleifarvatn on the Reykjanes Peninsula in South West Iceland and was felt as far north as Snæfellsnes and even the Westfjords.

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This is one of the biggest earthquakes that has hit Reykjavík in years, but thankfully, no one has been reported hurt, and there has been no structural damage. 

Iceland Prime Minister’s Reaction to the Earthquake

The moment the earthquake hit, Iceland’s Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, was taking part in a live online interview with a reporter of The Washington Post regarding how Iceland has handled the coronavirus. 

Clearly a little startled, the Prime Minister took a few seconds to compose herself, stating “Well, this is Iceland” before finishing her answer unfazed. 

Icelander’s Reaction on Social Media

Meanwhile at Alþingi, Iceland’s parliament, MP Helgi Hrafn Gunnlaugsson was delivering a speech when the earthquake hit. His reaction was not as composed as the Prime Minister’s, nor Alþingi’s Speaker, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, who himself remained calm while asking everybody to stay seated. 

Later, Helgi Hrafn took to Twitter to jokingly apologise for his reaction, stating that what he should have done was “rip Steingrímur J. Sigfússon out of his chair, hoist him onto my shoulders and leap from Alþlingi’s balcony” in order to save him.

More Icelanders took to social media, most of them jokingly commenting that this is exactly what was missing from 2020.

Earthquakes in Iceland

Around 100 smaller tremors followed the earthquake, the biggest one of those was a magnitude of 4.1. Many of these smaller aftershocks can still be felt in Reykjavík at the time of writing. 

Earthquakes in Iceland are frequent, though most of the time they are so small that residents cannot feel them. Even so, Icelanders have always maintained a respect for the extreme nature of their landscape, with children taught at an early age how to react if an earthquake takes place. 

After all, as the Prime Minister said, “This is Iceland”.

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