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Eyjafjallajökull sends more love

It’s been p*ssing down with rain today and thanks to the eruption in Eyjafjalljökull earlier this year we’ve got some serious flooding going on in South Niceland. Ash and mud from the eruption has filled up the riverbeds in the area, particularly in Þórsmörk National Park, where there are currently around 120 people trapped.

For those of you unfamiliar with the terrain, Þórsmörk is one of the most beautiful and scenic areas of Iceland, and is reachable only by crossing the river Krossá [which is actually a whole bunch of little rivers]. The river can be a challenge to cross under normal conditions, and is definitely not passable in regular vehicles — but now, not a chance.

The Ring Road is also flooded in at least one area, for a distance of around 200 metres.

Authorities are keeping a close watch on the situation. It’s been extremely windy today, but winds are expected to subside this evening. However, it will continue to rain quite heavily.

Thankfully those trapped in Þórsmörk are in good spirits, have plenty to eat and drink and will likely be able to leave the area sometime late tomorrow. And there are worse places to be trapped, if you ask me — phwoar!

Oh, and speaking of eruptions: two earthquakes were measured last night just north of Vatnajökull glacier, near the volcanic craters. According to the meterological office no volcanic activity has been measured — but one never knows! If so, let’s hope for another nice little tourist eruption — not one of those pesky Eyjafjallajökull jobs.

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  • Mike Richards September 26, 2010, 10:43 pm

    Four weeks until my next trip – come on Iceland – just hold on four more weeks and then you can trap me on the right side of an eruption.

    Looking at the map:

    http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes/vatnajokull/

    those ‘quakes look to be very close to Bárðarbunga which is one of the biggest volcanoes in Iceland – makes Eyjafjalljökull look like a firecracker.

    Mike.

  • hildigunnur September 26, 2010, 10:50 pm

    whoa – and definitely not the big Katla one…

  • Mike Richards September 26, 2010, 11:13 pm

    Nope, Eyjafjalljökull and Katlaare pretty quiet right now – even though the eruption isn’t officially over. On the other hand Bárðarbunga makes Katla look small. About 8500 years ago it produced in excess of 21 cubic kilometres of lava which is the largest single flow on Earth since human s appeared. To give you some idea, it erupted nearly twice as much lava as the devastating Laki eruption of 1783-84.

    The good news is that most eruptions out of Bárðarbunga are much smaller – more like the Gjalp eruption of 1996 which did a lot of damage to roads, but didn’t even close the airspace.

    The really good news is that so far there’s no sign that magma is near the throat of the volcano. The mountain is more active than usual, but if it is about to erupt we’ll start seeing hundreds if not thousands of small earthquakes around the volcano. The people at IMO will be watching their seismographs and should be able to give a warning if things do look like they might get loud and exciting.

    But like I said, I’d appreciate it if it could hold it in for another four weeks.

    Mike.

  • JimJones235 September 27, 2010, 1:32 am

    Oh no. Please no.

    I’m planning on trying again next April and I really, REALLY don’t want to go through that again.

  • Rajan Parrikar September 27, 2010, 9:46 am

    No Mike, I want ‘action’ in exactly 6 days when I land at KEF.

  • sylvia hikins September 27, 2010, 9:54 am

    I know. I am staying in a hotel near Skaftafell at the moment!!!
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • Chris September 27, 2010, 12:50 pm

    This would be an eruption under the vatnajökull whatever volcano will erupt. So the chances of a nice tourist eruption are pretty small. The only good point here is that this area is not or only very sparsely inhabitated.

  • maría September 27, 2010, 1:09 pm

    Vá! Ég elska Ísland 🙂

  • Joerg September 27, 2010, 7:59 pm

    I wouldn’t expect a volcanic eruption in the Bárðarbunga area to be a nice tourist eruption. It’s just too far away to be reached easily.

    But I had some experience of this kind already, when I was flying to Iceland on October 3, 1996 – one day after the eruption in this area. There was still a cloud hovering over Vatnajökull – visible from the airplane. Surprisingly, there was no flight disruption at this time. A huge jökulhlaup some weeks later destroyed much of the ring road including several bridges in the Skeiðarársandur. So, you’d rather not ask for this.

    And apart from that – unfortunately, I don’t have time to visit Iceland this year again for another volcanic eruption. So, please, have any volcanic activity saved up until next year.

  • Missoula September 28, 2010, 2:22 am

    Of course in the end, Nature will do whatever it’s gonna do in Iceland– no matter anyone’s hope for another tourist-safe volcanic eruption like Ejafyallajokull (versus an unwanted mega-blowout disaster– which we all should hope will never happen there.)

    I’m not into superstitious hopes –nor gawkings at geophysical explosions . But if I were, I’d hope for ( for what such hoping is worth) at least no more erupting volcanoes in Iceland.

    My first trip to the land of fire and ice is tentatively scheduled for June 2011.
    But I’m far more interested in Iceland’s people and culture than in wittnessing any mega-violent natural phenomenon that, however safely-toursit-entertaining to me it might be, necessarily threatens — and causes grief for— the noble, brilliant, and brave people who’ve lived and flourished there for 1200 years against the most amazingly challenging odds.

    Frankly, I think it’s dumbly insensitive for non-Icelanders to talk about Iceland’s volcanoes as tho they exist for tourist entertainmnets alone.
    And to the extent some indigenous Icelander’s encourage such one-dimensional appreciations by foreigners, just for the sake of tourist income, I think they sell themselves and their national saga far short of a much-more-powerful meaning.