Storm lashes East Iceland, feeding barge sinks

11.01.2021 - 13:38
Fóðurprammi sökk
 Mynd: Landhelgisgæslan - Ljósmynd
A major storm hit the east of Iceland this weekend, while the weather in the west was remarkably calm. A salmon farm feeding barge sank in Reyðarfjörður and the extent of the pollution is still unclear. Parts of Neskaupstaður were put on lockdown for a time, as loose roof cladding and other débris blew out of control, smashing several windows and causing other damage.

Wind monitors reported gusts of up to 64 metres per second at one point and there was significant icing, as the pictures below show.

East Iceland search & rescue teams attended over 60 call-outs during the worst of the storm on Saturday, securing loose items and fallen trees. 

A feeding barge (pictured above) for the salmon farm in Reyðarfjörður sank during the storm, and divers will attempt today to close vents in oil tanks and prevent the contents leaking out. It is not yet clear whether any of the oil or 10,000 litres of diesel have already leaked into the sea. 300 tonnes of salmon food onboard is in sealed containers and believed to remain dry and intact. 

A decision will be taken on how to salvage the barge today, after divers finish their work and their assessment of the wreck. 

Jens Garðar Helgason, CEO of Laxa aquaculture, says pollution prevention measures will be put in place before the barge is raised, and that it has most likely not leaked much oil or diesel into the sea at this point.

Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Benedikt Jónsson - RÚV
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Benedikt Jónsson - RÚV
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Benedikt Jónsson - RÚV