On Saturday March 27 literally thousands of people walked the path from Skógar to the eruption site on Fimmvörduháls. Some were a part of organized groups, but most were on their own. The parking lots at Skógar were jammed. As early as five o’clock this morning people started the hike towards the eruption. For most people it took between five and six hours each way. Today it was particularly difficult since there was a strong, cold wind from the north and the temperature was at -18° Celsius with the wind-chill factor. This did not deter many people. It is estimated that between three and five thousand people have taken the stroll.
Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review
In spite of the strong wind and cold weather the conditions were generally very favorable for watching the eruption, now in its eighth day. The sky was clear and the eruption was rather peaceful during most of the day. Late in the day the wind started blowing ash and poisonous gases in the direction of people, but by then the number of onlookers had dwindled down.
One small airplane had to land on the glacier because of some mechanical problem, but nobody was hurt, according to authorities. Still, many people are said to be reckless, and some security officers say it is only a matter of time until somebody gets hurt because of that.
Stranded plane. Photo: Benedikt Jóhannesson/Iceland Review
Not all went on foot to the crater. Many bought seats on planes or helicopters to get a bird’s eye view of the phenomenon. This included a crew from Iceland Review. On this third trip to the eruption our journalists feel that the eruption was somewhat calmer than before. However, scientists say there is no way of telling whether the new volcano may be dying out.