Leave for Turkey tonight

Søren Sørensson to the left and Erlendur Birgisson are prepared …

Søren Sørensson to the left and Erlendur Birgisson are prepared for the trip to Turkey tomorrow and have the high energy chocolate Prins Polo as part of their emergency food packages. mbl.is/Sigurður Bogi

“It’s super frustrating that the weather is treating us like this, but there’s nothing to do. We’re just going to use the time to prepare better,” says Sólveig Þorvaldsdóttir, who leads the Icelandic group headed to the disaster earthquake area in Turkey. As has been reported, at least five thousand people have lost their lives in that country and in Syria after a series of very strong  earthquakes. The group of experts in question is headed by the ICE-SAR Association, Landsbjörg and will help in the search.

Flight was postponed due to the weather

The Icelandic group was scheduled to depart this afternoon, but the flight was then e postponed due to weather on the route and the plan was to reassess the situation tomorrow morning. However, the weather has changed for the better and now the flight is scheduled sometimes tonight from KEF Airport.

Sólveig Þorvaldsdóttir heads the group, but she has extensive experience …

Sólveig Þorvaldsdóttir heads the group, but she has extensive experience in rescue work. Photo/Landsbjörg

Þorvaldsdóttir has extensive experience in rescue work and coordination of international operations. She has also attended international call-outs to seven countries and participated in a disaster recovery exercise in Turkey that took place last fall. Þorvaldsdóttir received an invitation to go to Turkey yesterday morning and has been preparing for it since. Mbl.is talked to her before the decision to fly tonight was decided, just now.

“It’s a lot of work to put these things together and it has to be done quickly. I would say that everything is clicking and it’s worked out in terms of original departure time. Now, for example, we’re looking into equipment such as radio, internet, emergency dispatchers and everything like this. After this delay, we can take the last steps at the usual pace. Although you’re frustrated by this delay, there’s nothing to do about it it, this is just the weather.”

A group of nine will go

There are nine members in the team scheduled for Turkey, such as a doctor and an engineer, but it must be assumed that such knowledge will be useful in the operations ahead taking in Turkey.

The group was in the lobby of the rescue center in Skógarhlíð in Reykjavík this afternoon. They were there to pick up some essential equipment and get ready. Emergency food packages were placed in large capsules, and a large serving of Prins Polo, a high-energy chocolate biscuit, was included.

The Coast guard’s TF-SIF takes the group to Turkey

“No, I am not afraid taking on this project,” said Erlendur Sturla Birgisson, one of the group members who met with mbl.is in Skógarhlíð earlier today. “It’s just a case of a task that needs to be dealt with and someone has to do it. I myself am a structural engineer and my projects in the earthquake scene will probably in that field. Both my education and my many years in ICE-Sar will be of use in this task.”

The trip was originally planned for this afternoon, then postponed for tomorrow morning, but right now we the flight is scheduled later tonight.


Partly cloudy


-2 °C


Later today

0 °C



3 °C