Children under 12 years old cannot visit the eruption site
Tourists by the eruption. The weather was a far cry from this today, and the site closed because of a yellow warning from the Met Office. mbl.is/Sigurður Bogi
The Chief of Police in the Reykjanes peninsula has decided to ban people going with children under 12 years old to the eruption site in Meradalir. The site is closed today due to weather, but should open tomorrow.
"We have had problems with people who bring their young children to the eruption site. Most of the time they are foreign tourists and they do it regardless of all the information out there about the place not being safe for young children," says in an announcement from the police yesterday. It is reported that this decision was made to protect the interests of young children, who are in more danger when it comes to toxic emissions from the eruption, that often lingers close to the ground, because it is heavier than the atmosphere.
"Children and their parents have often been very badly prepared for this hike and it looks like people have no idea where they are and what awaits them on a long and heavy hike to the eruption site."
Both children had hypothermia
Last weekend, on Saturday, two pre-school children became hypothermic after going with their parents to the eruption site. The children had been walking with their parents who were also close to exhaustion.
Hermann Valsson, a guide in the area, saw the couple with the children and came to their rescue. He says that in the end it all went well, but thinks that it needs to be stressed that tourists should not take their young children to the eruption site.
The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has warned people not to take children on this hike.
Taken to safety in an off road vehicle
The couple, who are from Israel, did not want to accept assistance at first, because they thought they would be billed for it. After they were convinced they needed to get to safety, they were transported in an off road vehicle down the mountain to the parking lot where an ambulance was waiting to check their vitals. Thankfully this story ended well, but it could have been much worse.
This incident and other similar ones are probably the reason for the decision yesterday to make sure young children are not in the vicinity of the volcano.