Six Shelters Opened Since Saturday

red cross iceland

In response to the winter weather conditions, the Red Cross in Iceland, in cooperation with several other organizations, has opened six shelters since the weekend.

The shelters can be found in Þorlákshöfn, Kjalarnes, Selfoss, Grindavík, and Reykjanesbær. Additionally, another shelter is being opened in Hella, a small town on Iceland’s South Coast.

The recent cold snap has disrupted traffic across the nation, leaving some travelers stranded, whether due to road closures, flight delays, or other reasons.

A stuck school bus in Þorlákshöfn required using the elementary school there as a temporary shelter, and there are also reports of many travelers with disrupted plans needing to take temporary shelter at tourist destinations like the Blue Lagoon.

Some 1,000 individuals are reported as having used the Grindavík shelter.

In their official statement, the Red Cross wished to “thank our volunteers and staff very much for the quick response to these difficult circumstances.” The Red Cross also encourage people to stay at home until conditions improve. Check the Icelandic Meteorological Office for information on weather warnings and travel advisories.

The official statement from the Red Cross in Iceland can be found below.

All Reykjavík City Pools Closed

Laugardalslaug geothermal swimming pool in Reykjavík

Problems at the Hellisheiði power plant have led to a significant decrease in the production of hot water for the capital region, leading to closures of all pools throughout the city.

Hellisheiði is a geothermal production facility near Reykjavík and the main supplier of hot water to the capital area. The recent disruption there could mean a 20% decrease in hot water production.

See also: Three Pools in South Iceland Closed

According to a press statement, teams have already begun the necessary repair work, and the closures will only be in effect for the remainder of the day.

Prior to the winter cold snap, several capital area pools had been considered for temporary closures, including Vesturbæjarlaug, Dalslaug, Suðurbæjarlaug, and Ásvallalaug. However, conditions did not require their closure.

Now, however, the decision will affect all 18 pools of the capital area, at least for the remainder of the day.

For updates on the status of Reykjavík city pool closures, see the Reykjavík city website.

 

 

 

 

 

Keflavík Flights Impacted by Winter Weather

Keflavík Airport

The winter weather that hit the Capital Region over the weekend is causing delays and cancellations to flights out of Keflavík International Airport.

Eight flights were canceled to the country last night, including all flights from the US. 

Additional delays to flight from and to Europe are expected today as well.

The Meteorological Office has issued a yellow weather warning for much of the country, and an orange weather warning for Southeast Iceland.

Stay up to date with the Meteorological Office’s weather warnings here.

Travelers are advised to contact their airline for further information, in addition to checking flight times at the airport’s website.

Funding for Municipal Services for People with Disabilities to Increase by ISK 5 Billion

Alþingi Icelandic parliament

Local municipalities will now receive a permanent increase in funding for legally required services for people with disabilities. RÚV reports that this increase will amount to ISK 5 billion [$35.028 million; €33.043 million] a year.

Per an announcement on the government’s website, the agreement was c0signed by the chair and executive director of the Association of Local Authorities and the Ministers of Finance and Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, and Social Affairs and the Labour Market on Saturday. It is aimed at helping local municipalities “achieve established performance and debt targets according to the current financial plan for the years 2023 – 2027.”

Under the terms of the agreement, local taxes will increase by .22% against a corresponding reduction of state income tax. The tax burden on individuals will not change, however. Rather, the agreement deals with the specific transfer of funds from the state to local municipalities.

Local municipalities have long called for increased funds to provide services for people with disabilities and are still calling for higher contributions. Per Saturday’s agreement, both local authorities and the three undersigning ministries agree to conduct expense analyses for services provided with the aim of renegotiating the agreement next year.