‘Well, this is Iceland’: Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir caught in earthquake during live broadcast

Samuel Osborne
·2-min read
Katrin Jakobsdottir (Twitter/Washington Post)
Katrin Jakobsdottir (Twitter/Washington Post)

Iceland’s prime minister was shocked by an earthquake that happened while she was speaking at a live event on Zoom.

“Oh my God, there’s an earthquake,” Katrin Jakobsdottir said when the quake struck mid-sentence on Tuesday. Loud banging could be heard and her house could be seen to shake.

She told the event, which was hosted by the Washington Post: “Sorry, there was an earthquake right now. Wow.”

“Well, this is Iceland,” she added.

Ms Jakobsdottir then continued her speech, telling the event: “I'm perfectly fine, the house is still strong, so no worries.”

The 5.6-magnitude tremor hit southwest Iceland on Tuesday, shaking buildings in the capital Reykjavik.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office said the quake struck at 1.43pm and was entered near Krysuvik, around 35km south of Reykjavik.

It warned residents in western Iceland more quakes could follow.

However, scientists have not noted increased volcanic activity in the region, as is often the case with seismic activity in the country.

Iceland is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, though its quakes tend to be small and do little damage.

Ms Jakobsdottir is not the first world leader to be interrupted by an earthquake during a live broadcast.

Earlier this year, New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, appeared unaffected when an earthquake struck the capital of Wellington while she was discussing coronavirus restrictions.

The capital and nearby areas were shaken by a 5.8-magnitude quake, at a depth of 37km.

“We are just having a bit of an earthquake here, Ryan... ,” Ms Ardern told the host of the show, Ryan Bridge, as everything appeared to shake.

She was speaking from the parliament building, called the Beehive.

“Quite a decent shake here... if you see things moving behind me. The Beehive moves a little more than most,” she added.

Ms Ardern then assured the host that she was safe and the interview resumed.

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New Zealand PM shrugs off 5.8 magnitude earthquake during live TV