No More Activity in Grímsvötn Volcano Skip to content

No More Activity in Grímsvötn Volcano

According to information from the Icelandic Meteorological Office, no activity has been registered in the Grímsvötn volcano on Vatnajökull glacier since early on Saturday morning.


The early stage of the eruption. Photo by Monique Starr.

“The eruption seems to be over,” geophysicist Páll Einarsson told Morgunbladid yesterday evening.

People were busy cleaning houses in Kirkjubaejarklaustur and other ash fall areas in southeast Iceland throughout last weekend, including the rural districts Sída and Fljótshverfi.

Fire trucks were used to hose down walls, roofs and farmyards and search and rescue team members have assisted people with tidying up and rearranging things.

“Almost 40 firefighters and search and rescue team members were at work and we know that many people were visited by their friends and families who have assisted with the cleanup. You can always count on the Icelandic solidarity,” commented Sveinbjörn Jónsson, who works at the local Civil Protection Department service center.

The center opened on Friday and its employees coordinate projects in the area, visit all farms, familiarize themselves with the situation there and lay out a plan on how to react.

“Of course such a natural disaster is trying, especially when it turned dark in the middle of the day. However, the Grímsvötn eruption was over in a few days and hopefully it won’t prove as difficult for people to handle as it would have otherwise,” Jónsson added.

The eruption in Grímsvötn began in the evening of May 21. The eruption was very powerful to begin with and the volcanic plume reached a height of 15 to 20 kilometers in the first hours.

On May 22 and the next few days there was significant ash fall in inhabited areas in the Skaftárhreppur district and the ash was so dense that at one point it blacked out the sun.

Mid-last week the power of the eruption started to wane with no activity being registered in the crater since early on Saturday.

However, a formal “death certificate” for the eruption hasn’t been issued yet—earth scientists haven’t done that since the series of Krafla eruptions came to an end in 1984.

Click here to read more about the Grímsvötn eruption.

Please note: The next issue of the print edition of Iceland Review will include extensive coverage of the eruption. If you subscribe now, you will receive a photo book by IR editor/photographer Páll Stefánsson of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull as a gift.

Click here to subscribe.

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