Rescue Operation Resumes for Man in Grindavík Crevasse

Grindavík - Þorbjörn

The search for a man who fell into a crevasse in Grindavík on Wednesday is set to resume today, RÚV reports. The operation was paused due to safety concerns from rockfall.

What happened?

The town of Grindavík was evacuated on November 10 amid powerful seismic activity. Earthquakes and the formation of a magma dike under the town opened crevasses and damaged roads, homes, and infrastructure in and around Grindavík. (A short, but powerful eruption occurred northeast of the town between December 18 and 21 and volcanologists say that another could occur soon.)

After the evacuation was lifted, construction workers began filling in the crevasses in town, as business operations resumed. On Wednesday, a man who was finalising work on one of the crevasses went missing. After his tools were discovered by a colleague near the crevasse, rescue workers began searching for the man.

Why was the search paused?

The search for the man was paused before midnight yesterday, after continuous efforts since Wednesday, due to the inability to ensure the safety of rescuers in the crevasse owing to rockfall. But the search will continue today.

Read More: Out of Harm’s Way (The Evacuation of Grindavík in Photos)

“At around midnight last night, we had to stop the search because we could not guarantee the safety of those working down in the crevasse,” Úlfar stated in a conversation with RÚV this morning. “There was rockfall within the crevasse.”

Despite the shifting of rocks and debris within the crevasse yesterday, rescuers did not suffer any injuries. The conditions for the search are, however, highly challenging.

As noted by RÚV, efforts have been made to widen the opening of the crevasse, which is narrow. This has limited the search to only two people being able to descend into the crevasse at a time.

Updated at 20:17. The search for the man has been called off.

Deep North Episode 57: Balancing the Scales

escaped farmed fish iceland

On Saturday, October 7, a tractor trundled through the streets of downtown Reykjavík with hundreds of protestors in tow. The procession was headed to Austurvöllur Square in front of Iceland’s Parliament for a demonstration.

Several organisations – including Landvernd (the Icelandic Environment Association) and the Icelandic Wildlife Fund – had organised the event to protest salmon aquaculture in open-net sea pens, an industry that grew more than tenfold in Iceland between 2014 and 2021. During this period, annual production ballooned from nearly 4,000 tonnes of farmed salmon to approximately 45,000 tonnes.

The reason protestors were demonstrating was because the growth of the industry had coincided with what some would call predictable problems. Aside from the potentially negative environmental impacts that salmon farming in open-net pens poses – including pollution from fish waste, uneaten feed, and chemicals or medicines used to treat diseases – Iceland had recently witnessed firsthand two of the industry’s primary risks: the escape of genetically-distinct farmed salmon of Norwegian origin from open-net pens (threatening introgression with wild populations), and the proliferation of diseases and parasites, most notably sea lice.

Read the full story here.

Björk to be Honoured with Statue in Reykjavík

björk 1997

Icelandic musician and artist Björk has been named an honorary citizen of Reykjavik. The City Council of Reykjavík has decided to commission a statue in her honour as opposed to holding a traditional ceremony.

City honours Björk

At a City Council meeting yesterday, Icelandic singer Björk was named an honorary citizen of Reykjavik. As noted by RÚV, Björk is the eighth individual to receive this honour. Other recipients include Reverend Bjarni Jónsson, ophthalmologist Kristján Sveinsson, former president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, chess grandmaster Friðrik Ólafsson, music teacher and choir director Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir, and artists Erró and Yoko Ono.

Read More: Iceland Review Interviews Björk

Instead of a traditional ceremony, the city council agreed that artist Gabríela Friðriksdóttir would be commissioned to create a statue of Björk. The project will be a collaboration with the Reykjavik Art Museum, and a proposal for the statue’s location will be announced later.

A long and varied career

In a statement from the City Council of Reykjavik, it’s noted that few people, if any, have helped to elevate the name of Reykjavik more than Björk. She boasts a successful career spanning four decades, in both the Icelandic and international arts scene. In her work as a singer, composer, record producer, actress, as well as a pioneer and activist in various fields, no other Icelander has garnered the same international recognition as Björk.

Björk Guðmundsdóttir, known mononymously as Björk, is an Icelandic musician and artist who was born in Reykjavik in 1965. Beginning her music career at a young age, she first gained prominence as a member of the Sugarcubes, an influential alternative rock band. After the band’s dissolution in 1992, Björk embarked on a successful solo career, known for her experimental musical style and unique voice.

Björk has released a series of critically acclaimed albums, including Debut, Post, and Homogenic. Her work spans a variety of genres and incorporates elements of electronic, pop, classical, and avant-garde music. Beyond music, Björk has also made a mark in acting and music production. Renowned for her artistic innovation and powerful stage presence, she has received numerous awards and accolades and has established herself as a leading figure in contemporary music.