The district commissioner in Húsavík has decided to close the immediate area around the volcanic eruption in Holuhraun for all, including scientists and media personnel, who so far have had limited access to the area. The Iceland Review team was there on Wednesday.
An inner closure of highland road 910 by Vaðalda has been put up—a large area north of Vatnajökull glacier has been off limits ever since the eruption started.
These new safety measures were taken following observations made by RÚV’s journalists this morning of a new effusive fissure (a previous story on ruv.is said they were two) having opened up. It lies to the south of the original Holuhraun fissure, extending towards Dyngjujökull outlet glacier.
Volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson told RÚV that the new branch of the fissure lies much closer to the glacier but hasn’t reached the glacier yet.
Scientists and representatives of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management are on their way to the eruption site on Coast Guard airplane TF-SIF to observe the situation from air and estimate the risk this new development poses.
As earlier reported, if a fissure opens up under the glacier and a sub-glacial eruption starts, it will likely lead to flooding, explosions and ash-producing activity.