Sheep Rounded Up Due to Ash Fall in South Iceland Skip to content

Sheep Rounded Up Due to Ash Fall in South Iceland

Farmers and search and rescue teams herded sheep in the Medalland countryside in south Iceland yesterday due to heavy ash fall from the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull. The visibility was so poor that one couldn’t see the next road marker.

Sheep grazing peacefully. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Sigurlaug Sigurdardóttir, a farmer at Herjólfsstadir, told this morning that on a normal day it would have been bright by now but this morning it was so dark that she couldn’t spot the neighboring house.

There was heavy ash fall at the farm Sydra-Steinsmýri yesterday evening but not as much this morning. “There is gray dust covering everything. The cars are gray,” described the farmer at Sydra-Steinsmýri Ingunn Magnúsdóttir.

Magnúsdóttir said all of her animals are kept inside. However, at some farms sheep and horses were outside in pastures and had to be herded and brought to safety.

There is nothing to indicate that the eruption is about to subside. The cloud of smoke rising from the volcano’s summit turns black every now and then, resulting in ash fall. The winds blow the ash towards the east.

The cloud reaches a height of six to eight kilometers and drifts across the ocean to other countries, disturbing air traffic.

Northern Norway was closed to air traffic last night and the ash fall will affect flight schedules in other countries as well today—all flights to and from London have been canceled as of 12 noon today, reports.

However, with the current wind direction, Keflavík International Airport is open for air traffic, although domestic flights to east Iceland have been disrupted.

Most of the approximately 700 people who were evacuated yesterday could return to their homes last night. The residents of 20 farms had to spend the night elsewhere but were allowed to tend to their animals this morning.

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