Search and Rescue volunteers around Iceland had their hands full this weekend, as punishing snowstorms and gale-force winds pummelled the country with no signs of abating come Monday. RÚV reports that an orange weather warning went into effect for the whole country on Sunday evening and is expected to be in place until 8 am on Tuesday. It’s possible that the warning level will be elevated to red in South Iceland, depending on how conditions develop.
Ten-Year-Old Boy Rescued from Avalanche in Hveragerði
A Search and Rescue team in Hveragerði, South Iceland was called out on Saturday afternoon to help rescue a ten-year-old boy who had been buried in snow. The boy had been playing with his 14-year-old brother at the base of a rock wall when the accumulated snow slid off the top and buried him.
The boy’s brother acted quickly, locating his brother under the snow, digging away the snow to uncover his face, and calling the 112 emergency line for assistance.
ICE-SAR arrived at the scene, finished unburying the boy, and transported him to the hospital in an ambulance. As of 2:00 pm, when the local police posted about the incident on Facebook, the boy was recovering well. Police reminded locals to be particularly cautious, as there was ongoing risk of avalanches in the area.
Sixty Cars Stuck on Roadway near Sólheimasandur
Heavy snowfall in South Iceland created even more trouble early Saturday evening. Nearly 60 cars became stuck on the road near the Sólheimasandur glacial outwash plain not far from the Jökulsá river. Some of the cars became stuck in the snow, and some of them were simply trapped behind the stuck cars.
ICE-SAR was called out to dig the cars out and manage the ensuing traffic jam.
Commuters in Reykjavík were faced with similar headaches on Saturday, particularly in the upper neighbourhoods. Many cars got stuck in the snow and there were also a handful of weather-related traffic accidents.