Magnitude 5.6 Earthquake hits Iceland


What we know

  • Magnitude 5.6 earthquake shook Iceland at 01:43 GMT
  • Epicenter of the earthquake was 16 km from Reykjavik
  • There were no reports of injuries

Earthquake - Safety Advice

An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of rocks deep underneath the earth’s surface. Earthquakes can cause fires, tsunamis, landslides or avalanches!

How to stay safe

If you are indoors

  • If you are inside, stay and do not run outside
  • Take safe shelter immediately inside a sturdy building, away from windows, doors and electrical appliances
  • Drop down and take cover under a desk or table. Be there until shaking stops 
  • Stay inside until it is safe to exit
  • Stay away from bookcases and other furniture that can fall on you
  • Stay away from windows, doors and electrical appliances

Drop, Cover, and Hold On

  • Drop down to the ground, so the earthquake doesn’t knock you down
  • Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect you from falling debris. If possible, crawl under a sturdy desk, table or another piece of furniture for additional protection. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and other items that could fall
  • Hold on to any sturdy item you can until the shaking stops

If You Are Outside

  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires

If you are in the vehicle 

  • Pullover and stop
  • Be careful, do not stay to close to buildings, power lines, trees or any object which can fell during an earthquake
  • Set your parking brake

What to do after an earthquake

  • Look around to be sure it is safe to move
  • If you are inside, exit the building and go to an open space far from any damage and other facilities
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake
  • Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in a coastal area, and stay away from the beach
  • Continue to monitor media for emergency information
  • Follow instructions from public safety officials
  • If you are trapped, try calling or texting for help
  • Call 112 to report any emergencies
  • Stay away from downed utility wires
  • Stay out of damaged buildings and areas until authorities deem them safe
  • If phone lines are down, use social media or texting to let others know you are safe

Check your home for damage

  • If you believe there is a gas leak, go outdoors immediately, and do not turn electrical switches or appliances on or off
  • If your home or property is damaged, stay outside until you are 100% sure it is safe
  • Inspect the house and report power outages


Aftershocks commonly follow earthquakes. Earthquakes can also spur other natural disasters like tsunamis and landslides afterwards!