They closed the Blue Lagoon in Iceland after registering more than 1,400 earthquakes in 24 hours

Tourist authorities warn of the possibility of adjusting visitor itineraries as the accumulation of magma continues. (Shutterstock).

The blue Lagoon (Blue Lagoon) of Iceland, a famous tourist attraction known for its hot springs, temporarily closed due to seismic activity in the region. This threat has become a cause for concern, as the peninsula of Reykjaneshome of both the blue Lagoon as from the international airport of Keflavikrecorded around 1,400 earthquakes in a 24-hour period until noon on Thursday, November 9, according to the Iceland Meteorological Office.

In response to the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes, those responsible for Blue Lagoonthe geothermal spa of Grindavikdecided to suspend their operations, with a preventive closure that began on Thursday and will last for a week, until November 16.

Although authorities did not increase the current level of uncertainty during this period of seismic activity, the well-being of visitors and employees was paramount in making this decision. In a normal year, hundreds of thousands of people frequent this place, which reached a record of 1.3 billion visitors in 2017.

Icelandwhich has more than 600 natural hot water springs, is one of the places with the greatest volcanic activity of the planet, and the peninsula of ReykjanesInstead of having a central volcano, it is dominated by a geological fault valley, with lava fields and cones.

Additionally, in the last 24 hours, another 800 earthquakes were measured, mainly in the same area and at the same depth, approximately five kilometers below ground level, reported The New York Times.

A spokeswoman for the local tourist board mentioned cnn that tremors can be felt from places as far away as Reykjavik and the Iceland Meteorological Service insists that “seismic activity is likely to continue and be episodic in intensity, while magma accumulation continues.” However, the institution has clarified that although there are larger earthquakes than before in the area, this does not necessarily mean an increase in the rate of magma accumulation.

The Reykjanes Peninsula It has been marked with a yellow code, one degree above the green of the rest of the country, for the risk of eruption. The current activity resembles that which preceded last year’s eruption of Fagradalsfjallabout 14 kilometers southwest of the blue Lagoon.

Tourism board director Þuríður Aradóttir Braun highlights similarities with events prior to past eruptions and mentions precautionary measures for tourists.  (REUTERS)
Tourism board director Þuríður Aradóttir Braun highlights similarities with events prior to past eruptions and mentions precautionary measures for tourists. (REUTERS) (Iceland Civil Protection/)

Fagradalsfjall It has erupted every year since 2021. The last eruption occurred from July 10 to August 8, 2023. When hiking trails reopened in August, visitors were warned not to walk on the still “steam-hot” lava.

Þuríður Aradóttir Braundirector of Visit Reykjanesdeclared to cnn: “This continuous series of events is very similar to the one that preceded the three previous eruptions on the Reykjanes Peninsula in 2021, 2022 and 2023, but it could also fade like the events we had in 2020.”

He added that the earthquakes are in a “relatively isolated part of Iceland,” but noted that visitors to the peninsula “may need to adjust their daily itinerary.” Finally, he said that if an eruption occurs, warnings will be sent to any mobile phone in the area, including foreigners.