Pupils and staff of the Mýrdalshreppur municipality elementary school practiced evacuation on Wednesday in case of an eruption in the volcano Katla, which is located underneath the Mýrdalsjökull icecap.
Katla, one of Iceland’s most dangerous volcanos, hides underneath the Mýrdalsjökull icecap. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Scientists have pointed out a connection between the volcanoes in Eyjafjallajökull, which is causing the current eruption, and Katla. The volcano erupts every 40 to 80 years. The last major eruption was in 1918, which caused extensive flooding. The village of Vík might be in danger if Katla were to erupt.
Representatives of the Civil Protection Department, the local municipality, the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority and the Public Health Authority informed attendees of possible consequences of the current eruption and discussed the evacuation on Saturday night.
Inhabitants had many questions.
Among the topics discussed was a possible eruption in the summit crater of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano—the current eruption on Fimmvörduháls is not underneath the icecap. Scientists said a relocation of the eruption is not impossible, but rather unlikely.
Possible flooding in Skógaá river was also mentioned. The river has not flooded before and such a scenario is considered unlikely, although it could happen if the eruption moves to a certain fissure.
Meanwhile, dv.is reports that Fox News seems determined to scare its viewers out of their wits with a highly dramatic story about a potential eruption in Katla.
“A situation is unfolding in Iceland—that is not a place we normally cover but there is a good reason for doing it today—that some scientists say could pose a danger to the entire planet. That’s all. Just the planet,” exclaimed news anchor Megyn Kelly.
“A volcano erupting near a glacier is spouting lava and ash high in the air. The big worry right now is that it could be a sign that an even bigger eruption at another volcano could be on the way. This happened more than three hundred years ago and when it did, researchers say it changed the weather pattern for the entire planet,” Kelly went on.
Kelly then interviewed seismologist John Rundle from Berkley University, who did little to console her.