This morning many inhabitants in Reykjavik were woken up by an earthquake that measured around 4 on Richter. It was the biggest one in a series of earthquakes that started in the Krýsuvík area south of Hafnarfjordur around 3 am. Since then 4 other earthquakes over 3.0 on Richter have been detected in the area, the biggest one being 4.1 on Richter.
I live only a few kilometers from the epicenter and it is not uncommon to feel earthquakes here. Not that it is daily events, but happens maybe like once a year. None of them is dangerous though with the biggest ones just over 4 on Richter and today's earthquakes do not worry us in any way.
The last 24 hrs have been unusually active though with over 400 earthquakes detected, 76 of them over 2 on Richter. The surface of the earth has been rising in the area of a few centimeters which might point to increased magma pressure. We are surrounded by volcanoes but the last eruption was more than 700 years ago so theoretically, yes, it is possible, but it is still extremely unlikely to happen any time soon.
Once every 100 years a rather big earthquake strikes southern Iceland and it struck May 29th 2008, measuring 6.3 on Richter. It didn't cause any serious injuries and only caused some damage around the epicenter. All houses are built to withstand much stronger earthquakes than that without collapsing. Larger earthquakes than that are extremely unlikely to happen. The reason is simple. The strongest earthquakes happen where the tectonic plates are being thrust towards each other but here in Iceland they are moving away from each other, making the tension and the pressure less in the earth.
There is therefore no reason be frightened if you ever feel an earthquake in Reykjavik. Some may experience it as unpleasant, others as exciting, but it should never become life threatening.
Reykjavik, shaken but not stirred.