The Coast Guard helicopter rescued a man lost at the eruption site

The Coast Guard helicopter was called out to search for …

The Coast Guard helicopter was called out to search for the man near the eruption site last night. mbl.is/Arnþór Birkisson

Last night there was a search conducted for a man who had gotten lost near the eruption site. He was found safe and sound. Originally it was thought that it was two men, but that was not the case. This was confirmed by Ásgeir Erlendsson, information officer of the Icelandic Coast Guard, in a conversation with mbl.is.

Seen to give SOS-needs signal

Earlier last night, the helicopters of the Icelandic Coast Guard and rescue teams were called to the eruption site at the Sundhnúkagígar crater row to search for two people, but Víkurfréttir first reported that the men were being searched.

According to Ásgeir, it was then believed that two people had been seen giving a kind of SOS signal towards a plane passing by the eruption site last night.

He said the men were between Keilir and Kistufell and that it had not been possible to confirm the identities of the two men, nor whether they were scientists or hikers.

Only one person involved

“There was one man. The helicopter found him and took him back to town,” Erlendsson says.

“He had become very cold and had left his equipment with a flashlight in another place, which is why it was thought that these were two men.”

Erlendsson says that the man was been placed in a safe shelter where he will be looked after.

mbl.is/Arnþór Birkisson

People need to stay away from the eruption site

There is a clear message from the Civil Protection that people should be careful to walk towards the eruption site at Sundhnúkagígar crater row.

In a hazard assessment issued by the Icelandic Met Office yesterday, it is revealed that there is an increased risk of unannounced eruptions in Grindavík and that eruptions are thought to be possible at Svartsengi and the Blue Lagoon.

Hjördís Gudmundsdottir, the director of communications for the Civil Protection Department, tells mbl.is that after this crisis assessment came, all responders were told to leave the town.

“The Met Office appreciates the fact that it’s not safe to be in town in these circumstances,” she says.

The Civil Protection and Emergency Management have called an information meeting at the rescue center in Skógarhlíð at 14 am today, where they will discuss, among other things, the housing situation of the residents of Grindavík and the Icelandic Met Office’s hazard assessment.

Significant pollution risk

It cannot be guaranteed that those who venture to the area against the will of first responders will be rescued, because the crisis response team might be occoupied .

The new hazard assessment shows that there is an increased risk of unannounced eruption in Grindavík and also that eruption is considered possible at Svartsengi and the Blue Lagoon, in area 1 on the map.

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