A lot of people by the eruption site
“There are a lot of people by the eruption site now. There was an informal count just before 22.00 and then there were about four hundred cars in the car park near Skála-Mælifell,” says Guðni Oddgeirsson, who works with area manager in area 2 and is a partner at the rescue team Þorbjörn in Grindavík.
He says that people who are walking up to the eruption, via the Meradals route, are risking danger, and are close to the danger zone, but also between the crater, which is active and the northernmost crater, which is now being dismantled. So people are risking an area where they can almost not be picked up unless the helicopter is available, according to Oddgeirsson.
A considerably longer route
He adds that the route is considerably longer than the last two. In fact, there is only one convenient way to reach the eruption. “The old A route has become considerably longer, if you are going to try to get up to this eruption. We advise people not to be walking in an unmarked area, to park by the Reykjanes peninsula or Vigdísvallabraut where we have seen people walking somewhere over the lava, as this is a very rugged area and it’s bad to have people just somewhere on the lava in the area if they get lost,” he says.
Oddgeirsson explains that there has not been much activity at the beginning of the evening, but during the last few hours, people have been coming to the area. “I came on duty at 17.00 and people are finishing their work and the weather is great. So there’s just been a lot of activity going on for these last few hours.”
Hopes the night will pass without a hitch
This been a smooth ride so far, and Oddgeirsson hopes that the night will pass without a hitch. “There are some who are naturally tired, but no injuries,” he says.
The area will be manned all night by both rescue teams and the police.