The consequences of the actions of the few: No access after 6 PM again
A group of people disobeyed police orders at the eruption sites last night when they refused to leave a danger zone.
Some of the people were on top of a mountain ridge where lava flowed on either side of the ridge. They were in danger of being locked in with nowhere to go. There were up to 60 people on the ridge of the mountain in this dangerous situation.
This information comes from Jón Þór Víglundsson, information officer of the Icelandic Accident Prevention Society, Landsbjörg.
Risk of being trapped
“People had come up on this ridge of mountain where lava was flowing on both sides of the mountain. There was a concern that the lava would merge and people would be trapped.”
Víglundsson says that many people probably did not realize the danger. Warnings and police directives, including the use of megaphones, did not change anything.
“It seemed to take a significant amount of effort to get people down from the ridge. I can’t see that people realized the danger they were in.”
The area was patrolled by 20 rescue teams last night and into the night. Six police officers were in the area.
A small group of people responsible for the closures
The Suðurnes police have announced that hiking trails to the eruption sites will be closed tonight. This is due to the difficulty in controlling people last night.
“Now as so often is the case, it’s a relatively small group that’s messing up for others,” police announces.
This morning the police of Suðurnes announced that from now on all routes to the eruption site will be closed after 6 PM. Here is what the notice reports:
“For safety reasons, hiking from Suðurstrandarvegur will be closed daily at 18, or earlier or later, as appropriate, when the road is open. That decision will apply during the course of the eruption at the mountain Litli-Hrútur. Vigdísarvallavegur will be closed along with the closing of hiking trails.”