The same road was threatened by lava from last year’s eruption as well, but remained intact and open—arguably against the odds. This year’s eruption is more productive, however.
“Lava has not started flowing out of Meradalir. It is still trapped inside,” explains geophysics professor Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson. “On the other hand, in the last two days, the lava in the gap has risen by seven or eight metres. And it needs maybe about one more metre before it overflows. If it continues, lava will soon flow out of the valley.”
Magnús says it is hard to say when or if the lava flow will reach the road. Scientists really need to fly over the eruption site on a day with good visibility—but this has not been possible since Thursday. They will attempt an observation flight tomorrow.
"When lava starts to flow from the valley, and if it continues like this, it will flow towards Suðurstrandarvegur. But to be able to estimate the timeline of that, we absolutely need to be able to take new measurements of the volume of lava and thus the flow. But the weather has stopped this completely since Thursday last week," says Magnús.