More funding for rescue teams possible

Tourists taking pictures of the eruption at Litli-Hrútur.

Tourists taking pictures of the eruption at Litli-Hrútur. mbl.is/Hákon

Minister of Justice Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir says that rangers need to be hired to work at the eruption sites at Litli-Hrútur as soon as possible. The Environment Agency has called for rangers to be temporarily employed, and the application deadline is the end of next week.

Hafsteinsdóttir told mbl.is yesterday that she believes the Environment Agency will try to hire people quickly and safely, further assuming that if qualified rangers are available for the jobs, they will be hired before the deadline for applications.

Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir, the new Minister of Justice.

Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir, the new Minister of Justice. mbl.is/Óttar

On Monday evening, the same day when the fissure opened at Litli-Hrútur, the Minister of Justice said that it was essential to intervene sooner than was done in the eruptions last year and the previous one, and she mentioned both the rangers and rescue teams in that context.

The government meets Friday

The Minister says an earlier response is now being made. Says a government meeting is scheduled for Friday.

"That's where we will go thoroughly over the issue and the situation and how to respond."

She says that the increased pressure on the rescue services and especially on the rescue services in the Reykjanes peninsula and in neighbouring municipalities needs to be taken into account.

“This is not the first eruption, but the third eruption for the third year in a row, and that’s a lot of pressure, of course. People are on summer vacation and there’s a lot of pressure on a few peopl e.”

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