Cooling lava resumed above Svartsengi

It was decided to start cooling the lava again last …

It was decided to start cooling the lava again last night to slow down lava tongues that were splattering over the defense wall. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

The civil defense coordination center was activated last night when three lava tongues started moving over the defense wall at a similar location to Tuesday, above Svartsengi. About 35 firefighters were in the area, as well as contractors working on bulldozers. The fire chief in Grindavík says the work is a co-production of work equipment and water.

“The civil defense coordination center was activated earlier this evening because of these lava spews that were sneaking over the defense wall and it was decided to try again with the lava cooling with the knowledge we received the day before. It has been more successful, but we are trying to slow down the flow,” Hjördís Guðmundsdóttir, communications representative of the civil defense told mbl.is.

Worked better this time

“Everyone realizes that we’re not putting a stop to anything. But we’ve been slowing down the flow of lava, which has worked fine, so that’s what we’re doing. We’ve got a lot of experts here trying to figure out what we can do and how we can prevent this from going on,” Guðmundsdóttir says.

She admits that the equipment and the lava cooling are still being studied, but a decision has been made to buy more powerful equipment for these projects.

Heavy machines like excavators and bulldozers are being used to …

Heavy machines like excavators and bulldozers are being used to mend and add to the defense walls. mbl.is/Eyþór Árnason

Heavy machines are the front-line weapons

“There are three lava tongues that are splattering over the defense wall,” fire chief of Grindavík, Ein­ar Sveinn Jóns­son, tells us.

“This is more than the last time but we’re still with both feet on the ground.”

When asked how the situation looks in comparison to earlier this week, he says the most important factor is the tools.

“Bulldozers and other heavy machinery, they’re naturally the main tool and by far the most effective and have the biggest impact, and we’re just like, supporting them to slow the lava tongues down with water, you know. So we’re just not in the main role, but we’re helping,” he says.

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