Don’t Bring Dogs To Eruption Site, Expert Warns

Aerial view of lava flowing from the Geldingadalur crater and the audience gathered to admire it

Natural Hazards coordinator with the Icelandic Meteorological Office Kristín Jónsdóttir stated on Twitter that visitors to the eruption site in Geldingadalir on the Reykjanes Peninsula should leave their dogs at home as they were in danger of fluoride poisoning.

“Leave your dogs at home! Geochemical measurements show that there is fluoride and high PH-values in water puddles close to the #Geldingadalir eruption site,” states Kristín.  In addition to the danger of dogs drinking water that might make them sick, visiting an active volcanic eruption has other obvious dangers. The flow of the lava can be unpredictable and toxic gases emitted by the eruption can be life-threatening.


Finally, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason urges caution when visiting the eruption site due to the recent uptick in COVID-19 infections. According to a counter set up on the hiking path to the eruption, thousands of people have already visited the eruption site. Þórólfur told Fréttablaðið this was a cause for some concern as a person recently tested positive for the virus, out of quarantine after spending time at the eruption site.

Reykjavík Murder Investigation: Confession in Rauðagerði Murder

Margeir Sveinsson - Chief Superintendent of the Police in Reykjavík

Following one of the most extensive criminal investigations the Reykjavík area police force has conducted, the police have a confession in the case of the murder of Armando Beqirai, a resident of Iceland and Albanian national. Armando was shot to death outside his home in East Reykjavík last month, leaving behind an Icelandic wife and young child, who were in the home when the incident occurred. The confession is in line with other evidence and the police’s theories.

At a press conference earlier today, Chief Superintendent Margeir Sveinsson, the police officer in charge of the investigation went over the milestones in the investigation. Shortly before midnight February 13, the police were called to the body of a man in his thirties. He was declared dead on the scene and an autopsy later revealed that he had been shot nine times. The murder weapon, a 22-calibre handgun with a silencer, was found in the sea by the capital area in March.

The police investigation was extensive, and suspicion soon arose that the murder was part of a settlement between criminal groups, domestic as well as international. 14 people were detained during the investigation and at one point, nine were in custody at the same time. The police searched 17 different locations and confiscated phones, computers, cars, firearms, and ammunition, to name some. They spoke to several witnesses and looked at phone and computer data as well as surveillance footage. The people under investigation were of several different nationalities, Icelandic, Albanian, Romanian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Estonian, Serbian, Lithuanian and Belorusian, something Margeir stated was unusual compared to countries around us.

The person who confessed to the murder is originally from Albania like the victim but has been living in Iceland for the past 7-8 years. As the case is being investigated in connection with organised crime, Margeir stated that the police were worried that they would receive a false confession but that they have strong evidence to corroborate the confession.

While the police are instituting protective measures for people connected to the case and their families, in order to prevent violent retribution, Margeir stated that the police did not believe the public was in any danger.

Catholic Church To Be Built In Selfoss

Municipal authorities in Árborg are requesting comments on a suggestion for the Selfoss city plan that the Catholic Church in Iceland be permitted to erect a church, a congregation hall and a rectory.

The new church buildings are set to rise is in southwest Selfoss, in a plot allocated last year after much deliberation. The blueprints for the buildings are ready, and the buildings are expected to cover 1500 m2 of land and rise no higher than 12,6 m (41.3 ft). The suggestion notes that constructors expect an insignificant increase in traffic to the area but church bells can be expected to ring on holy days. The suggestion also notes that the municipality’s former plans for building a school and kindergarten in the area would have affected the environment much more, especially traffic and noise levels.

According to data from Statistics Iceland, 14,658 people belong to the Catholic Church of Iceland. Its congregation has grown in the past few years, up from only 3,200 in 1998.

No Weather For Travelling This Weekend

Winter weather can be expected all over Iceland today and the forecast for the weekend predicts no weather for travelling. Yellow or orange weather alerts are in place in all regions of the country, except for the capital area, today and tomorrow. Strong northerly winds, snow and temperatures below freezing can be expected.

According to the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration, there’s winter weather all over the country, with strong winds and low visibility. Driving conditions are difficult and some roads in North Iceland and the Westfjords have been closed.

Weather conditions by the Geldingadalir volcanic eruption site are bad as well and the Icelandic Met Office notes that there’s no weather for hiking. The on-duty meteorologist remarks, “Northerly winds, 13-18 m/s and blowing snow at the eruption site, limited or poor visibility, therefore no weather for hiking. Moderating early morning and partly clearing. Northerlies, 8-15 m/s by noon and mostly dry, lighter winds and clearing during the evening. Volcanic gas dispersion is still mainly to the south of the volcano today.” The area was closed yesterday due to the weather.

Yellow weather alerts are in place all over the country this weekend. Orange alerts are in place for the south coast tomorrow. “Strong northern gales in the N parts of Iceland and deteriorating driving conditions. Expecting gale force northwest winds in SE-Iceland by afternoon with wind gusts locally reaching 35 m/s. Late tomorrow becoming east and northeast severe gales in the S and W parts with blowing snow and worsening driving conditions.”

For more information and before travelling, consult www.vedur.is/english