Fjaðrárgljúfur Purchase Offer Accepted

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

The Icelandic state needs to decide whether it will purchase Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, a popular tourist site in South Iceland, Fréttablaðið reports. The canyon is up for sale and an offer from a private investor has been accepted, but the state has pre-emptive purchase rights to the land. The purchase price is estimated between ISK 300 and 350 million [$2.3-2.7 million; €2.2-2.5 million].

The canyon and surrounding area covering 315 hectares was put up for sale six years ago. A buyer has now been found, and the sale manager revealed that they were Icelandic and work in tourism. The state can step in and buy the land if Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson decide to do so, but they have a limited window of time.

Fjaðrárgljúfur has been managed by the Environment Agency of Iceland in recent years. The agency has closed the area for weeks-long periods in recent years when tourist traffic was causing damage to the fragile vegetation around the canyon. The spot was not well-known to foreign tourists until it appeared in a music video by Justin Bieber in 2015, which put it on the map.

Until now, there has been no admission fee for visitors to the canyon. It is not known whether the private purchaser aims to profit from the land by charging admission.

Earthquake Swarm on Reykjanes – No Sign of Volcanic Activity

Keilir

Earthquakes measuring M3 and M3.2 were detected last night near Reykjanestá on the Reykjanes peninsula. The earthquakes were felt by people located near the point of origin. Natural Hazard Specialist Sigríður Kristjánsdóttir of the Icelandic Met Office confirmed that no volcanic activity has been detected in the area.

An earthquake measuring M3 was detected near Reykjanestá at 22:55 PM last night. Another, stronger earthquake measuring M3.2 was detected at the site at 2:32 AM this morning. Activity has since died down. Sigríður described the swarm as normal activity for the region.

Earthquakes on the Reykjanes peninsula inevitably lead locals to ponder whether an eruption is imminent. Last year’s Geldingadalir eruption, active on the peninsula between March and September, was preceded by weeks of powerful earthquakes. Local volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson has stated there is a 50/50 chance another eruption will begin on the peninsula by the end of the year.

Iceland Performing in Eurovision Semi-final Tonight

systur Eurovision

Icelandic sisters Sigga, Beta, and Elín will perform in the first 2022 Eurovision Semi-final tonight. Iceland is performing 14th out of 17 acts this evening. Only 10 will qualify for the grand final on Saturday.

Iceland’s competing song Með hækkandi sól (e. With the Rising Sun) is a folk-tinged anthem of hope composed by Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir, known as Lay Low. Lovísa has said the lyrics are influenced by 19th-century Icelandic poetry, including that of the poet Undína (Helga Steinvör Baldvinsdóttir). An English translation of the lyrics is available on lyricstranslate.com.

Tonight’s participants in order of performance are: Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, Switzerland, Slovenia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Moldova, Portugal, Croatia, Denmark, Austria, Iceland, Greece, Norway, and Armenia. A second semi-final with 18 performances will take place on Thursday, followed by the grand final on Saturday night.

Iceland’s representatives in 2021, Daði & gagnamagnið, landed in fourth place in the competition, despite a COVID-19 infection that prevented the band from performing live. Iceland’s performance tonight is confirmed: the band and crew have tested negative for COVID-19.