The Government of the Faroe Islands has donated 10 Million ISK [$73,000, €67,000] to support the displaced residents of Grindavík. The collection effort has been ongoing for over a week with the Red Cross and half the amount comes from Faroese residents, half from the Faroese government budget, RÚV reports.
The Faroe Islands, a self-governing archipelago country some 450 kilometres east of Iceland, has a population one-seventh the size of Iceland’s, but has a history of lending a helping hand during trying times in Iceland.
Government action expected in February
The January 14 eruption near Grindavík destroyed three houses, caused crevasses to form across town, and displaced the 3,800 inhabitants for the unforeseeable future. The town had already been evacuated once before, on November 10 last year, due to seismic activity.
The Icelandic Government has promised support for the Grindavík residents, which will be presented in a February bill in Alþingi, Iceland’s Parliament. Following a meeting of the cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir told RÚV that the plans were on track and that the idea of buying up residents’ houses was still being discussed. “This is what we’ve been working on the whole week, in dialogue with financial institutions, banks, and pension funds, estimating different proposals,” she said.
Faroese support through the years
The Grindavík donation is not the first time that the Faroese people have helped out Icelanders in need. Similar efforts were made during the 1973 eruption in Heimaey, the largest of the Vestmannaeyjar islands, which led to the temporary evacuation of its community. Likewise, Faroese donations came through when the Northwestern towns of Súðavík and Flateyri were hit by avalanches in 1995, causing the deaths of 34 people. Løgting, the Faroese Parliament, also came to Iceland’s assistance during the 2008 financial crisis, lending money when credit had dried up elsewhere.
The Icelandic Red Cross has set up a page with donation options for those wishing to lend support. This includes both one-time donations and repeat subscriptions.