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More fissures and a wedding at Reykjanes volcano

13.04.2021 - 11:50
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 Mynd: Styrmir Kári & Heiðdís - Pink Iceland
Even more fissures opened at the Geldingadalir/Meradalir volcano this morning. Volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson tells RÚV the news does not come as a surprise. “It is to be expected. This sort of development is not unusual and should not come as a surprise,” he says.

Ingibjörg Jónsdóttir, University of Iceland earth sciences department reader, was at the volcano when the fissures opened. “It was totally incredible. This opening let us see like never before what was in the lava field that was already there, because it was not that the land was opening up, but rather that everything suddenly started bubbling up out of it,” she says.

It is believed there are four new erupting zones as of this morning, bringing the total number to eight; all along the same line, around a kilometre long. The new lava is flowing south into the same area as the very first lava in March, and not into Meradalir to the north like the other recent new fissures.

The new lava is now flowing right over hiking trail A, the first that was pegged out when the eruption started. This trail is, of course, now permanently closed, but hikers are still able to visit the volcano today.

In other news: the volcano has saved what the coronavirus ruined. 

Sumarliði V. Snæland Ingimarsson and Jón Örvar Gestsson were married at the erupting volcano on Friday. “We had planned to get married on 5th September last year. We were organising it last spring when the coronavirus pandemic hit and we decided to wait,” Sumarliði explains. 

They waited and waited, with no concrete wedding plans, until one day late last month the wedding planners from Pink Iceland got in touch to suggest holding the ceremony at the volcano. The motivation was simple: an unforgettable day for the happy couple could also prove a PR boost for the Icelandic LGBTQ+ travel agency.

“At first we were stressed at the thought of doing it right away, but then we decided to go for it,” Sumarliði says. “We only had five days to arrange suits, our rings, and get haircuts!” 

“We didn’t know what to expect. We went there to look at the area on Wednesday and ended in a massive pollution cloud. All the gas meters were beeping on all the search & rescue workers when we go there and the area was being emptied out. The day after was awful weather and nobody up the mountain, so we didn’t really know what to expect on the Friday,” Sumarliði explains. 

The wedding party hiked in a snow shower on Friday, but the skies cleared and the sun came out when they reached the volcano. In big winter coats, hiking boots, and with wet hair, the couple and their guests got changed into their finest clothing right there in front of the volcano. The wedding reception will be held when coronavirus restrictions ease.

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