Safety on Reynisfjara Beach to Be Improved 

Vala Hafstað

Measures intended to improve safety on Reynisfjara Beach, South Iceland, were introduced at a government meeting Friday by Minister for Tourism, Industry and Innovation Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir, Morgunblaðið reports.

Ólafur Teitur Guðnason, assistant to the minister, states that Þórdís Kolbrún informed the government of her plans to fund and follow through with the making of a risk assessment and work processes regarding people’s safety on the beach.

Leading the project is the South Iceland Police Department in cooperation with the Icelandic Road Administration, the Icelandic Met Office and the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. Work on the project, estimated to cost ISK 2-3 million, will begin soon.

The goal of a risk assessment is to create criteria to make it possible to use a permission, granted by civil protection law, for the closure of areas.

Ólafur believes Reynisfjara beach might have to be closed for 5-7 days from November till March every year.

Another project, for which ISK 20 million (USD 162,000; EUR 147,000) was allocated in 2017, included creating a wave forecast system for Reynisfjara beach and a warning system connected to it. The wave forecast can be accessed on under the heading Seaside, after which you look up Forecast in Shallow Waters. There, a four-day wave forecast for Reynisfjara is available. relies on this forecast for issuing warnings on its website. 

The latter part of the ISK 20-million project involved putting up a mast with a yellow warning light to signal danger on the beach. Installation of the mast awaits the approval of some of the landowners in the area, who count more than 200.

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