Strong and shallow M6.0 earthquake hits Iceland, ongoing intense earthquake swarm


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.0 hit near the coast of northern Iceland at 19:07 UTC on June 21, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M5.7 at a depth of 12 km (7.4 miles). The quake is a part of an ongoing intense earthquake swarm, with more than 2 000 earthquakes since June 19.

The epicenter was located 50.8 km (31.6 miles) NNE of Siglufjörður (population 1 190) and 101.4 km (63 miles) N of Akureyri (population 17693).

There are about 13 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

35 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking.

The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) is reporting the quake as M5.7 and a part of an ongoing intense earthquake swarm.

"It is the third earthquake over M5.0 and the largest earthquake in the swarm that began in the area on June 19," the office said. 

The other earthquake over M5 were M5.6 and M5.4. Since the beginning of the crisis, IMO has detected over 2 000 earthquakes.

Many smaller earthquakes are still being measured in the area, but more strong earthquakes are likely to occur.

Authorities are urging people living in the known areas to take appropriate measures in the event of an earthquake.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building type is unreinforced brick with concrete floor construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

EMSC detected more than 68 earthquakes in the region over the past 48 hours.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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