Geophysicist Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson said it is not yet possible to declare that the volcano in Eyjafjallajökull glacier has officially stopped erupting. There are still tremors and seismic activity down below.
The eruption in Eyjafjallajökull at its height. Photo by Bjarni Brynjólfsson.
Sveinn Runólfsson, director of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, told Morgunbladid that soil reclamation in a 4,000-hectare area is necessary.
“It is clear that the area that was subject to extensive ash fall is very large. It is estimated to be at least 3,500 square kilometers,” he said. That is approximately 3.4 percent of Iceland’s overall area.
The Soil Conservation Service has worked on a plan since the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull began on strengthening vegetation in the area by sowing and spreading fertilizers, to bind the ash where there is risk of it being carried away with the wind.
It is most important to take such measures in settled areas. Otherwise, ash drift could continue for months or even years.
However, the project costs up to ISK 100 million (USD 781,000, EUR 637,000) and funding hasn’t been secured. The matter has yet to be discussed with Environment Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir.
Runólfsson said the idea is to employ people in the area with spreading fertilizers and seed using their tractors and spreaders.
The wind has been blowing in from the southeast in the past days, carrying ash from the eruption site to the capital region. Car owners have noticed how dirty their cars have become.
Our special offer for the Iceland Review magazine with eruption photos and coverage.