Many go to the eruption site ill-equipped

04.08.2022 - 13:50
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Kristinn Þeyr Magnússon/Guðmu - RÚV
Many made their way to the eruption site in Merdalir yesterday. The police encountered challenges in managing the stream of people, and the Suðurnes police commissioner says that the tourism staff didn´t follow the civil protection recommendations. He warns tour guides and tourists against walking to the eruption site ill-equipped. The hike is challenging and much longer than last year. 

Ten thousand people are reported to have gone to Meradalir yesterday, and the number of people increased after midnight. The Suðurnes police commissioner said two people were injured during the night. One of them was taken to the hospital by the Coast Guard helicopter. In addition, a few hikers required medical assistance due to minor injuries. Úlfar Lúðviksson is the Chief of Police in Suðurnes. 
“This hike is more difficult, much longer than to the 2021 eruption site. People need to be prepared to walk very far. It can be estimated that it takes a hiker around two hours to reach the volcano and two hours to get back. It is more difficult than last year and is not for untrained walkers. Hikers need to be well dressed and take food and snacks with them,” Úlfur says. 
A report from the police chief this morning said that tour guides with ill-equipped travellers showed little understanding of the recommendations of the emergency services. However, Úlfur does not believe it will come to closing the site off but says people must be well equipped. 
"When there is a police recommendation, people need to consider what we say to them. Therefore I expect that guides and other tourism professionals will consider our warnings," - said the commissioner.