Search and rescue teams were dispatched yesterday evening after a blinding snowstorm battered a group of 39 snowmobilers on Skálpanes by the roots of the Langjökull glacier, Mbl reports. The group dug snow shelters as they waited for rescue units to arrive.
In an interview with Mbl, Sveinn Kristján Rúnarsson, chief of police in South Iceland, confirmed that police authorities and rescue teams had come to the aid of 39 snowmobilers on Langjökull glacier yesterday evening. As later reported by Vísir, the group was on a snowmobiling tour with Mountaineers of Iceland. The snowmobilers later sought refuge in two small company vehicles. All of the rescue teams in Árnes county and South Iceland were mobilised, as were all of the ski vehicles in Árnesy county and the Greater Reykjavík Area, a total of roughly 300 rescue volunteers.
Search and rescue units arrived shortly after midnight and helped transport the group to Gulfosskaffi (Gullfoss Café) for food and drink, medical assistance, and crisis counselling, which the Health Care Institution of South Iceland and the Icelandic Red Cross provided. The first members of the group arrived at just before 6 pm this morning; it was slow going, in light of weather conditions. None of the travellers were seriously injured, although many were wet, cold, and tired. The group comprised travellers of varying nationalities.
A strong westerly storm struck Iceland yesterday. Rarik reported power outages in three separate areas in West Iceland: in Norðurárdalur; in Eskiholt near Varmaland; and Vatnshamrar in Hafnarskógur. Roads were closed in Krýsuvík, Mosfellsheiði, Bröttubrekka, Holtavörðuheiði, among others. A foreign cargo ship in Hafnarfjörður also broke off its moorings this morning.