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Photo: Part of Route 1 in South Iceland. The bridge across Múlakvísl river could be closed by authorities..

Glacial Outburst Flood Expected This Month

The Met Office continues to monitor Múlakvísl river closely, as a glacial outburst flood is expected in the river this month, RÚV reports. Conductivity is high in the South Iceland river, measuring around 170 microsiemens per centimetre, and water levels in the river are relatively high, says Sigurdís Björg Jónasdóttir, a specialist at the Met Office. Sigurdís says these conditions have been steady throughout July and it is difficult to say when the flood will begin.

In recent years, Múlakvísl river has experienced a glacial outburst flood annually, with the exception of last year. Experts are expecting a larger flood this year, however. Eyjólfur Magnússon, a glacial research specialist at the University of Iceland, told the news agency that the flood would likely occur this month.

Specialists expect the flood’s onset to be sudden. The river’s last glacial outburst flood was detected only 45 minutes before it began. Múlakvísl flows under Route 1 in South Iceland, so it is possible the flood could affect traffic in the area.

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