Landslide Disrupts Traffic in North East

landslide iceland

A landslide forced the closure of a road last night, November 16, in Northeast Iceland by the town of Grenivík. Route 83 going north from Akureyri is currently closed from the junction with Víkurskarðsvegur.

Authorities advise residents to take a detour through Dalsmynni.

The announcement from North East Iceland police can be seen below.

Authorities state that although landslides are not common in this area, avalanches are. 

An approximately 50 to 70m stretch of road is affected, covered in about one metre of mud and debris.

Gísli Gunnar Oddgeirsson, municipal council director of Grýtubakkahreppur, stated to RÚV: “It’s not usual for there to be landslides there, and considering that there’s been no rain, it’s a bit surprising.”

No one was harmed during the landslide, but one car is stated to have driven into the mire.

 

150 Cattle Taken by Authorities in Abuse Case

icelandic cows

150 cattle have been removed from a farm in Borgarfjörður by the authorities on November 14 and 15. After repeated demands by authorities that their owner improve their conditions, authorities have finally been forced to confiscate the cattle after it became clear the farmer in question would not cooperate.

Both police officers and representatives from MAST, the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, were at the scene, reports RÚV.

Read more: Further Animal Abuse in Borgarfjörður

The owner in question is said to have a long history of mistreating his animals. Sheep and horses have been previously taken from the farmer to be slaughtered, as they were too maltreated to be rescued.

Some cattle confiscated in the latest episode will likewise be slaughtered, but many of the cows will be allowed to live and given new homes.

Ellen Ruth Ingimundsdóttir, district veterinarian for Southwest Iceland, stated that such cases are very difficult for all involved: “It’s a long and difficult story. We decided that it was no longer possible to give deadlines that weren’t met […] We don’t take animals from people just because we want to. We need to follow the law and we need to do this in consultation with locals so that it doesn’t hurt the animals. That’s why it has also taken a long time.”

Ellen additionally thanked those farmers who will be receiving the remaining cows, which are headed to barns with better pasture and conditions.

 

A Third of Icelanders Read Daily

icelandic books

A new report from the Icelandic Literature Center has shed new and interesting light on the reading habits of Icelanders. The annual study has been carried out since 2017.

On average, Icelanders listen to 2.4 books per month, with 32% of the nation reading at least once a day.

Read more: Rising Prices of Christmas Books

However, Icelandic readership is undergoing a notable shift, with both the groups of those who never read and those who “binge read” growing.

The study also reported a marked difference between the genders, with women reading significantly more than men. The gender gap also correlates with a gap in education, with the college-educated generally reading more than those with a secondary level of education.

Older people were found to read on average more than younger people, with the youngest group polled, those between 18 and 24, reading the least out of all groups.

In a comparison between the capital region and Iceland’s countryside, no significant difference was recorded.

Some 65% of Icelanders read either exclusively or mostly in Icelandic. This represents a slight change from last year, when the figure sat at 58%. 18% of those polled read equally in Icelandic and another language, with another 14% of residents reading more often in another language than Icelandic. Finally, 3% of those polled read exclusively in another language. The language difference also breaks down along age, with those 34 and younger generally reading in other languages more often than the older groups polled.

Read more: Audiobooks Account for a Third of Books Read in Iceland

Usage of public library resources was also recorded, with women again using the library more often than men. Among the top users of public libraries were households with two or more children.

The report, which can be read in full here, was authored in cooperation with the Reykjavík City Library, Association of Icelandic Publishers, Hagþenkir, the National and University Library of Iceland, Reykjavík UNSECO City of Literature, and the Writers’ Union of Iceland.