Safety Concerns, Poor Weather Halt Grindavík Property Visits Skip to content

Safety Concerns, Poor Weather Halt Grindavík Property Visits

By Ragnar Tómas

Photo: Jarðhræringar.

Grindavík residents are currently unable to visit their properties due to ongoing efforts to fill and assess dangerous crevasses, with work being hampered by recent bad weather. The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management is focusing on evaluating the town’s safety this weekend, with hopes to soon allow brief returns for residents.

Efforts being made to fill crevasses

Grindavík residents will not be able to visit their properties today, Víðir Reynisson, head of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, stated yesterday. Efforts are being made to fill the cracks and assess their danger with the help of ground-penetrating radars, but the work has been delayed due to bad weather in recent days. 

Víðir observed that the civil protection authorities intended to spend the weekend assessing the situation in town, which has been divided into areas east and west of Víkurbraut; the eastern area is much more dangerous. 

“The danger of earth collapse and the opening of new crevasses is still considered high. What we have been focused on in recent days is filling these cracks and scanning them with ground-penetrating radars. We have also been trying to assess which areas are safer than others so as to prepare to allow the people of Grindavík to come home and visit their properties,” Víðir stated in an interview in the evening news on Stöð 2 yesterday.

Inauspicious weather conditions

Víðir added that the weather had not been on the authorities’ side in recent days and the forecasts for the weekend don’t look especially heartening. Hopefully, however, work over the weekend could continue: “There is significant wind and precipitation forecasted, so we have to take into account whether this is actually feasible, but we will see it more clearly tomorrow,” Víðir noted yesterday.

Víðir stated that he understood that people were eager to return to their homes and that the lack of electricity and heating in the town was a further cause for concern for residents; many were hoping to move their belongings to new homes outside the town: “Hopefully, we can get everyone living west of Víkurbraut back home in a short time, and that means each person might get about four hours at home,” Víðir remarked.

A meeting will be held this morning to review the situation and assess what needs to be done to allow residents to enter the town. The authorities hope to allow residents to return home for a brief period, two to four at a time, in one or two cars.

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