The area around the eruption closed to traffic

03.08.2022 - 15:20
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdótt - RÚV
The Ice-SAR unit Þorbjörn has closed all car traffic around the eruption sites in Meradalir. The rescue teams are going up to the eruption site to assess the situation. Decisions will then be made on whether to evacuate the area. 

The Grindavík police department discourages people from making their way to the eruption site. The situation is being assessed, particularly about the seriousness and the possible gas contamination. Hjálmar Hallgrímsson, a police officer in Grindavík, says the traffic in the area is increasing. 

Little danger while the fissure is not growing 

Professor of Volcanology Þorvaldur Þórðarson told radio news at 2 pm that he does not consider the fissure a hazard as long as it stays in its current location and does not extend to the north or south. He believes the fissure is about five hundred meters long, and the lava flows at a speed of a few cubic kilometres per second. 
“While [the eruption] is holding there, the lava flow is confined to Meradalir valley. It will take a considerable amount of time for this eruption to fill the valley so it would start to flow out of it.” 
Þorvaldur admonishes people in the area to avoid gas pollution and to avoid being downwind from the eruption site. The fissure has a significant gas emission which is rapidly dispersing from it. “It is primarily a sulphur cloud, so it is better to be on the wind side of the eruption site.” 
People should not venture into the valley because most gas is concentrated there. 

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