Video showing the consequences of the avalanche
Footage sent to the media by ICE-SAR Landsbjörg rescue team this evening clearly shows the magnitude of the consequences that the avalanches that fell on the settlement of Neskaupstaður have had.
The commissioner in East Iceland, in agreement with the Icelandic Police Commissioner, decided to move from the emergency level of civil protection down to the critical level this evening, but more than one hundred homes in Neskaupstaður, Seyðisfjörður and Eskifjörður had to be evacuated. About 500 people have had to leave their homes. The situation will be reassessed tomorrow morning.
Operations began 10-15 minutes after the avalanche
Rescue teams had reached the avalanche site in Neskaupsstaðir about 10 to 15 minutes after the first flood in the inhabitants’ area fell at about half past seven this morning. Rescue teams have been working on an evacuation since this morning and several hundred people have been brought to the Egilsbúð Community Hall.
Hospital probably not evacuated
It looked like the hospital in Neskaupstaður had to be evacuated due to the avalanche risk, according to Guðjón Hauksson, director of the Healthcare Agency in East Iceland.
The evacuation plan has been made in case it will be needed, but Hauksson says it is unlikely that an evacuation of the premises is needed as the situation is evaluated right now. “It is assessed that there is not a need at present,” he says.
Some 500 people have had to leave their homes because of the risk of avalanches today.