The Njarðvík pipe has burst
The Njarðvík pipe, the pipeline that supplies the Southern Peninsula with hot water from Svartsengi, has burst. Significant steam is now rising from the Njarðvík pipe, as reported by a journalist from mbl.is on location. Shortly after the steam began to rise, black smoke was seen emanating from the Njarðvík pipe. The Njarðvík pipe is a main conduit of HS Veitur that transports hot water from Svartsengi to Fitjar in Reykjanesbær.
The new lava flow can be seen in the bright orange area but the pink area at the top shows the lave flow from the December 18-21 eruption and the pink area at the forefront is the lava from the January 14-16 eruption. Map/mbl.is
Too Early to Determine the Impact
"It is too early to say what impact this will have and whether it has been possible to protect it to some extent," says Birna Lárusdóttir, a spokesperson for HS Orka, regarding the Njarðvík pipe. An area was evacuated shortly before noon. Until then, employees had made every effort to protect the pipeline. "But then an evacuation had to be carried out due to gas pollution in the area," she says.
A warning 25 minutes before the eruption
Lárusdóttir says that the emergency management of HS Orka had been at work since 25 minutes before the eruption began when a warning came through the warning equipment that had been set up in the company's boreholes. "We are assessing the situation. All operations of the power station are normal, and there is no immediate threat to the facility itself," says Lárusdóttir and adds that work is being done according to contingency plans in cooperation with civil protection and HS Veitur. She says the lava flow is in line with the lava flow models that were worked with.
Residents asked to conserve hot water
If the main pipeline goes under lava, it looks like no hot water will come from Svartsengi, resulting in a lack of hot water in Reykjanesbær, Suðurnesjabær, Grindavík, and Vogar.
A notification from civil protection says that it is important that all residents and companies conserve heat and hot water. Residents are asked to lower the heating systems in their homes and not use hot water for showers, baths, or hot tubs. It is important that everyone works together.
The hot water will last for 6-12 hours
A new notification from civil protection says that distribution tanks store hot water in the area. When the pipeline goes, that is the only water left in the area. With deliberate conservation, the distribution tanks will likely last for 6 to 12 hours. Based on regular daily use, the tanks will last for 3 to 6 hours.