"People go above and beyond every day"

Pétur Hafsteinn Pálsson, the CEO of Vísir hf. in Grindavík.

Pétur Hafsteinn Pálsson, the CEO of Vísir hf. in Grindavík. Eggert Jóhannesson

“Often, the interests of the local economy and the local community have been put above their own. People go above and beyond every day to work and to survive themselves in the chaos that comes with unprepared migration. Every effort is made to minimise the damage to the children. That’s the hardest part.”

This is what Pétur Hafsteinn Pálsson, CEO of Vísir hf., wrote in a column on the company’s website yesterday in order of the fact that it is half a year since Grindavík had to be evacuated due to earthquakes and an impending volcanic eruption.

“Today, May 10th, it’s been six months since the disaster started with an earthquake, deformation and movement on the tectonis plates in Grindavík. On that day, we were driven from our homes into an endless uncertainty that we don’t see the end of yet. This was followed by four eruptions in the area near our hometown, and when this is written, everyone is holding their breath and waiting for the fifth one. April was the first month that nature didn’t strike us a blow, since October, with a powerful natural disaster,” he writes.

The rescue of valuables from the town was a difficult task, but it was unclear where and when it would erupt.

Persistence and serenity

“But there is another power that has appeared as a counterweight to the uncompromising power of natural destruction. It is the people themselves who build the town. With perseverance and serenity, they have shown what they are made of. Where there has been some hope of keeping operations going, it has been done. Where there has been a need to protect the value of the company or the local community, people have not hesitated to show up,” he writes, saying that people have often put the interests of employment and the local community above their own.

“The biggest feeling in my mind is gratefulness when I think about my colleagues and I believe that God will follow us along the path of change we are now experiencing. Let’s be patient and careful about our work and be as careful as possible in the difficult circumstances we are facing. But above all, let’s be kind and considerate to one another,” he concludes.

mbl.is/Árni Sæberg

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