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“Best to keep young children away from volcano”

18.06.2021 - 14:56
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Guðmundur Bergkvist - RÚV
Lava continues to run down Nátthagi, from the Fagradalsfjall eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula and towards the sea. The bottom of the valley is now covered in lava and it is filling up steadily. This is the shortest route for the lava to reach Suðurstrandarvegur road.

Kristín Jónsdóttir, the head of the natural hazards department at the Icelandic Met Office, says that engineers and scientists are working together on ways to divert lava to the sea with the least possible damage to the road and other infrastructure. The civil protection agency and Efla engineering company are looking at possible new barriers.

The new barriers will be in addition to the 200-metre-long barrier at the south of Geldingadalir that was completed this week and diverts lava into Nátthagi and away from Nátthaghakriki. 

A sudden rush of lava threatened to spill over the brand-new barrier on Wednesday, but engineers still working there worked fast to add height and strength. Their efforts succeeded. 

Concern for small children 

Kristín recommends people avoid visiting the volcano with young children. “It is not very sensible,” she says. “A lot of gas is gathering there in Nátthagi and these days there are northerly winds that are collecting the gases together there. So it is not very sensible to bring young children, who have sensitive lungs.” 

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