Eruption site is open, but people need to heed warnings and be prepared
The eruption site is open from Suðurstrandavegur today, but not from other roads or roadways. Firefighting is still ongoing in the area and people are warned to stay near the area due to gas pollution.
This is in a notice from the Suðurnes Police.
The Merdalir route is reported to be open and 20 kilometres of the route must be walked back and forth, so the route is not suitable for everyone and takes about five to seven hours.
“As a matter of urgency, it is not always going well to ask people to stay out of the danger zone. We therefore ask people to act in accordance with the instructions of the police and rescue teams and not to enter the designated danger zone/prohibited area,” the announcement says. It is noted that the eruption site can change with limited notice and prove to be life threatening.
“Circumstances can change suddenly”
“It is important to bear in mind that the eruption site is a dangerous area where conditions may change suddenly. Police warn people to stay near the eruption site because of gas pollution. The risk increases when the wind gets lower. Then life-threatening gases can build up in depressions and prove fatal. New fissures can open up quickly, and incandescent lava can fall from the edge of the lava field, causing rapid and sudden outbursts of water and sudden bursts of lava that smash into new fissures and make it difficult to get away running.”
People are then repeatedly reminded that they are entering the area at their own risk, but it is recommended to use dust masks to avoid the pollution that comes from the vegetation fires.
“Walkers need to dress for the weather, take their own food and not forget to have their cell phones charged. However, reception for mobile phones in the area is not guaranteed. Cars are to be parked at designated parking spots along Suðurstrandavegur, but not on the sides of the roads or close by. People ca walk to eruption site from that area if they think they can walk that far and are well-equipped. Keep an eye on the wind direction and the news from the media.”
It is also recommended to keep track of the following websites: