Tourists Stopped from Approaching Volcano Skip to content
reykjanes eruption, april 2024.
Photo: Art Bicnick, Reykjanes eruption April 2024.

Tourists Stopped from Approaching Volcano

Police has turned away several people attempting to walk to the ongoing volcanic eruption at Sundhnúkagígar, according to Suðurnes Police Commissioner Úlfar Lúðvíksson.

“We’ve had to shoo people away, but it hasn’t been a big group of people,” Úlfar told Mbl.is. “It’s mostly been foreign tourists.”

Minimal activity in Grindavík

Úlfar said that police are asking people not to get close on foot, as the area surrounding the eruption could be dangerous. The power of the eruption could increase with little notice or new fissures could open up. He said that authorities are monitoring the state of the eruption, which has been chugging along since March 16.

He added that in nearby Grindavík, which has been mostly abandoned since it was evacuated before a previous eruption, some 15 companies are still operating, most of them around the harbour area. Some 300 people work on site for these companies. Last night, locals stayed overnight in 20 Grindavík houses. The town is shielded from lava flow by protective man-made barriers.

Lava flow could increase

Vulcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson warned that the eruption could increase in power soon. He told Rás 2 radio this morning that even if the lava flow increased, the eruption would continue at a comfortable level and that there’s plenty of room in the area for the lava to pool.

“Even if the lava flow goes over the barriers, it will most likely only be in splashes coming down on the Grindavík side,” he said. “And it would strengthen the protective barriers. They’d be fortified on the inside, thereby increasing their resilience and height.”

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