The Police Commissioners in Húsavík and Seyðisfjörður have decided to close and evacuate the area north of Vatnajökull following the seismic activity in Bárðarbunga.
This decision is a safety measure. It cannot be ruled out that the seismic activity in Bárðarbunga will lead to a volcanic eruption. There is no change in the seismic activity at the moment and no sign of an eruption but experience shows that seismic activity can be ongoing for a long time without an eruption. This is first and foremost a precautionary measure since the evacuation of the area is impossible at short notice.
In accordance with procedure, the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police has raised the Civil Protection level to Alert Phase. All roads leading into the area are now closed and the authorities in Húsavík and Seyðisfjörður are evacuating the area north of Vatnajökull.
The Civil Protection Alert Phase reads as follows: “If threat assessment shows that hazard is increasing, a preventive measure must be taken immediately to secure the safety of those who are in the area. That is done by strengthening response measures in the area, and by taking preventive actions such as evacuation and closing off the area in question. Preparedness and warnings are also common in this phase.”