Love and danger at Fagradalsfjall

12.10.2021 - 13:46
Mynd: Þyrluþjónusta Helo / Helo
A young couple got engaged at the Fagradalsfjall volcano this weekend, in full view of the live RÚV webcam. Meanwhile, a passenger on a helicopter tour yesterday filmed a man walking on the rim of the volcano's crater. The helicopter pilot said she had never seen as many people walking on the new lava. A volcanologist tells RÚV it is still extremely dangerous, for several reasons.

Loved

As the video below shows, the happy couple in question were in a safe spot away from the lava field when the man knelt on one knee and extended a jewellery box containing an engagement ring.

The camera does not record sound, but the woman's reaction was fairly easy to interpret in picture alone. The couple embraced and kissed, and the man even gave a direct indication to the camera that the answer had been yes.

The volcano has been the site of several life-changing occasions this year, starting with an actual wedding this spring.

Less-loved

In other news, a helicopter tourist shot the above footage of a man at the edge of the crater yesterday and the pilot for Helo helicopter tours, Sólveig Pétursdóttir, told RÚV she has never before seen as many people on the lava as yesterday.

Volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson explains that walking on the lava is still extremely dangerous even though the crater has not erupted new lava for around three weeks.

The risk from molten lava below the surface and/or extremely hot rocks is still present, though diminished. In addition to this, people are often not aware of the presence of gas bubbles below the surface of the new lava field. Some bubbles are several metres in diameter and are often covered by a thin, easily-broken layer of rock that cannot easily be spotted. People can easily break the surface and fall into these pockets, causing serious injury. Broken legs are relatively common in similar lava fields in Hawaii, for example.

Finally, Þorvalduir says, it is only a matter of time until the thin rim around the volcano's crater collapses. Anyone there at the time, like the man in the video above, would have little time to react and would face a drop equivalent to falling off the tower of Hallgrímskirkja, he warns.

Mynd: RÚV / RÚV