Up to 150 people had to spend the night in the pitstop Stadarskáli, midway between Akureyri and Reykjavík, last night because the mountain pass across Holtavörduheidi was closed due to a fierce storm which hit the country.
Keflavík International Airport. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
A huge hole was torn in the Icelandair hanger at Keflavík International Airport. Airplanes could land but as metal plates were flying across the airport and the storm made the ramps too shaky, passengers had to wait inside the planes for hours.
In southwest and west Iceland, police received 300-400 reports because of the storm. Roofing slates were blown off roofs in many locations and trees were uprooted. In Karfavogur in Reykjavík a decades old larch tree blew out of the ground, Morgunbladid reports.
At 8 pm last night, members of the Landsbjörg search and rescue association had responded to 210 requests for assistance in the capital region, 140 in the Sudurnes region and dozens of others around the country. More than 200 search and rescue team members were called out.
This morning capital dwellers woke up to roaring thunder and lightning—a rare weather phenomenon in Iceland—shortly before 7 am, followed by a hailstorm.
Meteorologist Thorsteinn V. Jónsson at the Icelandic Meteorological Office told dv.is that bolts of lightning were spotted over Hellisheidi heath and Faxaflói bay and as far as Öraefsveit south of Vatnajökull glacier.
Here is a link to a photo of a bolt of lightning that struck Reykjavík this morning.