Nobody hurt in Jan Mayen earthquake

Jan Mayen. Eartquacke SignA sign post at Jan Mayen. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret

Nobody hurt in Jan Mayen earthquake

No one was injured, but those stationed on Jan Mayen got a real shock from the most powerful earthquake ever registered on any Norwegian held territory.


According to the Earthquaketrack service, The earthquake occurred at 2.49 am on Friday, with the epicentre 125 kilometres northwest of Jan Mayen. The Norwegian Armed Forces and the Meteorological Institute have fourteen and four employees stationed on the Arctic island, respectively, and they were naturally awakened by the quake.

– It was a bit shocking. My heart sunk in my chest when I was woken by the sound of the mirror and the cabinets rattling, Chief Technician, Silje Wennesland comments on behalf of the crew to NTB.

Nobody injured

– Fortunately no one is injured and everyone is fine, but certainly noticed it, to put it mildly. It has happened before, but this was quite powerful compared to that – most of us woke up due to this. The ones who were awakened, gathered, and talked about the experience. This is not an everyday event, so we shared some experiences, says Wennesland. She estimates that the tremors lasted for about 30 seconds.

With a force of 6.8 on the Richter scale, the quake is the strongest ever recorded in either mainland Norway or in any other Norwegian territory. According to the Norwegian Earthquake Centre, NORSAR, the previous earthquake record was also from Jan Mayen, registered on August 30th, 2012, with a force of 6.6 on the Richter scale. There were no injuries to humans either on that occasion, but there was some structural and material damage.


When daylight came (which is quite late, this time of year), the staff on Jan Mayen investigated whether there was any damage to buildings, materials or nature.

– We have been around the island and have not found any damage. It is surprising seen against how spectacular the event that woke us up in the middle of the night was, the Station Manager at Jan Mayen, Geir Ebbe Strøm, tells NTB on Friday afternoon.

– It is quite possible that a few rocks have moved a bit, but that happens all the time, anyway, he adds.

Jan Mayen is an Arctic island that has been a part of Norway since 1930. Today, Jan Mayen is administered by the County Governor of Nordland. The island has no permanent human residents, only those posted there by the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Meteorological Institute.


Read more about Jan Mayen on Wikipedia.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today