Defense walls keeping the lava at bay

This picture shows well how the defense walls around Grindavík …

This picture shows well how the defense walls around Grindavík worked wonders and averted catastrophic damages. Photo/Otti Rafn Sigmarsson

Those residents of Grindavík who need to enter the town today will be granted permission to do so, as will business owners who work on saving valuables.

“We help people who need to enter the town to do so, but it is not recommended that people stay nights in the town under these circumstances. These measures for business owners will continue as they did yesterday,” says Úlfar Lúðvíksson, Chief of Police in Suðurnes, to mbl.is.

He says that no one stayed in the town last night, as it was closed to anyone except the emergency responders.

The eighth volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in the last three years began the day before yesterday with a bang.

The activity of the eruption decreased by midnight on Wednesday but it has remained stable and did not change much during the night. The most active eruption at Sundhnúkagígar crater row appears to be at the crater that was formed during the eruption that began on March 16.

Úlfar Lúðvíksson, the Police Chief of Suðurnes.

Úlfar Lúðvíksson, the Police Chief of Suðurnes. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

“The situation is quite good. The eruption seems to be quite stable and looks similar to the last eruption. The wind direction is favorable for gas pollution but we can worry about pollution from lava from the west side of the town. That’s not a big concern though,” he says.

Lava all around Grindavík

The power of the eruption was large and the biggest ever in the area. During the eruption, people feared damage to further infrastructure. Þormóðsson says that the lava is constantly getting closer to town.

“There’s a lava field up by the defense walls on the west side of the town and when you look at aerial photos of Grindavík town today, you can see where the lava field has almost surrounded the town.”

He says that the defense walls have proved their value but people don’t know what will happen if the eruption continues for a long time.

“Now we’re just waiting for this eruption to be over at any time, and then we’ll see what happens in the future.” He says the way out of Grindavík is not possible via Grindavíkurvegur Road, but there are escape routes via Suðurstrandarvegur Road and Nesvegur Road, although it’s difficult. He concludes by saying that work on the defense walls will continue .

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