President Makes Surprise Appearance as Tour Guide

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson delighted foreign visitors to Reykjavík City Hall when he briefly stepped in as a guide on their tour, Vísir reports.

Guðni was leaving a meeting when he encountered the group, which was gathered around the large topographical map of Iceland that’s housed in the lobby of the building. “As you can see, we’re down there [in Reykjavík],” he pointed out to guests. “But there’s plenty more to see, so if you have the time, and if you can come back to Iceland, you’re always welcome.”

“The weather is always nice,” he joked. “It’s always sunny. And the people are lovely, I’m told.”

Speaking to a reporter who was on hand after the visitors left, Guðni noted that the interaction spoke to some of Iceland’s best qualities as a country. “We here in Iceland can turn our smallness into a strength. This is an example, perhaps, that in this great country of ours, it happens that foreigners run into me, or other people, in public places.”

The tourists agreed. “That was amazing,” enthused Synthia and Kylin Salsbery from the US. “He seemed so friendly and welcoming—and what a surprise.”


Earthquake at Bárðarbunga Caldera

Vatnajökull Bárðarbunga

An earthquake occurred under the Bárðarbunga caldera at 7:20 am on Saturday morning, RÚV reports. The quake was measured a 4 and while it isn’t uncommon for earthquakes to occur in the area, Saturday’s incident is notable as Bárðarbunga, a stratovolcano located underneath Iceland’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, is the second largest volcano on the island—and the most active.

See Also: Bárðarbunga Calming Down or Preparing for Next Eruption

The earthquake started 4.6 km [2.85 mi] northeast of the volcano, at a depth of 1.3 km [8.1 mi]. Afterwards, the Met office only detected a very little aftershock activity.

The last time major unrest occurred at Bárðarbunga was in 2014, when magma streamed out of the chamber under the volcano and flowed almost 40 km [24.8 mi] to the Holuhraun lava field, where there was an eruption. The eruption lasted almost six months.

Geoscientists have been keeping a close eye on Bárðarbunga of late. In July, it was reported that the volcano has been expanding and it could be due to magma accumulation or recovery from its last eruption. Geophysicist Páll Einarsson told reporters, however, that the powerful earthquakes underneath the volcano this summer were likely due to land rise and that an eruption did not appear to be imminent.