We’ve heard it said repeatedly over the last few days: “It’s not a matter of if, but when, someone gets hurt.”
This morning an extensive search was launched for three people, a man and two women, who had driven into the Fljótshlíð area* to take a look at the eruption. They were in a Honda SUV and initially called police two days ago because they’d got their car stuck in a river. Police in Hvolsvöllur, a nearby village, were about to set out to search for them, but then got another call yesterday morning saying that it wasn’t necessary – they’d managed to get their car unstuck.
When they hadn’t returned last night, rescue teams were called out to search for them. One woman was found today; she was cold and exhausted but is now recovering. The second woman was found dead later this afternoon, some 700 metres from their car.
The search for the man continued this evening, and it was reported that he had been found about an hour ago – between 9 and 10 pm. Police are giving no details of his condition; however, there was an interview with a police official on RÚV at 10 pm and he looked pretty grim. I fear the worst.
Apparently the people got lost en route and eventually their vehicle ran out of gas. And boy, that is not a place you want to be lost in the middle of the night in the middle of winter. Besides which the weather was absolutely atrocious last night.
It’s so sad. And it’s strange, but I expected that if when someone did get hurt it would be due to some foolish move like hiking up on Fimmvörðuháls without proper equipment. I certainly would not have thought it would happen to people who were in a vehicle and were driving quite a distance away from the eruption.
It just goes to show, yet again, just how powerful and merciless our nature can be.
UPDATE: It has now been reported that the man was deceased when he was found, some 4-5 km from his car.
* Where EPI and I went on the Reykjavík Excursions tour