Seyðisfjörður Mudslides: Hope Residents Can Return Home Today Skip to content
Photo: National Police Commissioner. Seyðisfjörður mudslide, December 2020.

Seyðisfjörður Mudslides: Hope Residents Can Return Home Today

Seyðisfjörður is still on alert due to the risk of further mudslides and the situation in Eskifjörður will continue to be monitored. Weather conditions in the area have hindered cleaning efforts. Partial evacuation is still in place but the situation will be reassessed today and experts hope that evacuation can be lifted.

An announcement from the Civil Protection Department of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police and the Chief of Police in East Iceland stated that there’s a continued level of danger in Seyðisfjörður. While partial evacuation is still in place due to a continued risk of mud flow, they hope to be able to further lift evacuations today. Some people have been away from home for three weeks at this point and around 40 people celebrated Christmas in an emergency response centre.

Seyðisfjörður saw heavy rains yesterday.  The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration opened the mountain road yesterday afternoon but the roads were icy and they’re closed again today. There have been no reports of mud flow or rumbling sounds in the area in the past few days. Readings from yesterday morning indicate that there has been little to no movement at the source of the mud flow.  No clean-up operations were scheduled yesterday in the evacuation zone due to weather conditions but they are scheduled to resume tomorrow. Today, experts at the Meteorological Office and their associates will reassess conditions and the need for continued evacuations.

East Iceland Police Chief Superintendent Kristján Ólafur Guðnason told RÚV the weather conditions are affecting the situation. Data transport to the Meterological Office has been affected and the road closures have had an adverse effect on the people of Seyðisfjörður’s sense of safety, as the road over the mountain is the only available escape route on land.

In Eskifjörður, no evacuation orders are in place and no mudslides have fallen on residential areas. No movement has been measured over the last 24 hours as cracks formed in the road up to Oddskarð.  The area will continue to be monitored. The Meteorological Office has installed a camera monitoring the cracks and stationary points are measured once a day to anticipate any movement in the mountainside. The most recent measurements indicate that there’s no shift.

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