People Support Each other in Ash-Stricken Areas Skip to content

People Support Each other in Ash-Stricken Areas

By Iceland Review

Stoicism and helpfulness characterizes the reaction of the inhabitants in Kirkjubaejarklaustur and the surrounding countryside of the volcanic eruption in Grímsvötn and the heavy ash fall they have been subject to. They know that they are not alone.


The haze around Kirkjubaejarklaustur while the volcano was emitting the most ash. Photo by Monique Starr. Click on the picture to enlagre it.

“Of course I haven’t been able to speak with everyone personally but judging by the conversations I have had, people are generally level-headed,” Rev. Ingólfur Hartvigsson at Kirkjubaejarklaustur told Morgunbladid.

Some families with young children chose to leave the area after the worst spells of ash fall. However, search and rescue team members don’t expect more people will follow.

“Of course it puts a lot of strain on us all and there are some physical consequences. One worries the most about the people who are going through it for the second time but it is unbelievable how stoic people have remained. And the argument that no other reaction is possible is mentioned again and again,” Hartvigsson added.

People emphasized saving what could be saved while the disaster was ongoing; afterwards the consequences will be dealt with. Post-trauma teams are available and search and rescue members are paying close attention to the situation of residents, he described.

People are prepared to lend each other a helping hand. “It is of course like that, at least here in the countryside, that people follow each other and help each other, regardless of whether there is an emergency or not. Especially people of the older generations,” the reverend concluded.

Click here for general information about the eruption in Grímsvötn from Promote Iceland.

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.

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Follow for further news updates of the eruption. If you have any photos of the current Grímsvötn eruption and would like to see them published, please send them to [email protected] and [email protected].

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