There is currently extreme flooding in the Markarfljót river due to the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull glacier. The Civil Protection Department fears that the levees won’t hold and has ordered an emergency evacuation in the Fljótshlíd and Landeyjar districts in south Iceland.
Markarfljót under normal circumstances. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The flood is now rushing out from underneath the glacial tongue Gígjökull down the Markarfljót river channel at a speed of approximately ten kilometers per hour. There are giant icebergs in the river, the size of cars, RÚV reports.
Some damages have already been caused to the levees at Mt. Thórólfsfell and is flowing into the Fljótshlíd district. Chief constable at Hvolsvöllur Sveinn K. Rúnarsson said the flood is now approaching the levees at Háamúlar.
Rúnarsson said the evacuation is going well; it is finished in Fljótshlíd and is about to finish in Landeyjar. Search and rescue team members have been called out to help residents in the region.
Road construction workers who were working on repairing the bridge across Markarfljót have left the area. Neither people nor animals have been harmed in the flood.
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