Route 1 Partially Closed Due to Skaftá Glacial Flood Skip to content
Photo: Páll Stefánsson. From the Skaftá glacial outburst flood in 2015.

Route 1 Partially Closed Due to Skaftá Glacial Flood

Route 1, west of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, has been closed due to flooding from the glacial outburst flood in Skaftá river, Vísir reports. The police in South Iceland have reported this, and the Icelandic Met Office issued a general travel advisory on June 3rd.

Ágúst Freyr Bjartmarsson, a foreman at the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration, said the water is now too deep for cars to pass through, but that it cannot be said for sure when water levels will regress.

A bypass route through Meðallandsvegur is open, which is expected to slow down travellers by around 40 to 60 minutes in total.

The glacial outburst flood has already reached a high point, and it is expected that it will now slowly regress, according to the Icelandic Met Office. The effects of the flood will still be felt in the next days, and it is expected that Skaftá will not experience regular water flow until later in the week.

The fact that both cauldrons of the glacier Skaftárjökull have flooded at the same time is an historical event, as up to this point only one cauldron at a time has activated, Vísir reports.

A sulphur stench has been reported in the region, but the smell can be felt quite far away. The were reports of sulphur in the air in Norway the last time a glacial outburst flood in Skaftá happened, in 2015.

Travellers are advised to visit the website of the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration for further information, www.road.is, or reach them by telephone in the number 1777.

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