Very little or no frost damage seems to have occurred in Reykjanes peninsula buildings after lava from the February 8 volcanic eruption damaged a hot water pipeline. Both homes and industrial properties were without water for days while work on a new pipeline took place.
According to an Mbl.is inquiry, no reports of frost damage were sent to the distribution company HS Veitur, to the Natural catastrophe insurance of Iceland, or to insurance companies TM, Sjóvá or VÍS. No frost damage occurred at any institutions of the Reykjanesbær municipality.
A concerted effort
Páll Erland, director of HS Veitur, said that even though assistance was requested in multiple houses, no frost damage has been reported. He told Mbl.is that this could be considered a miracle, especially after days of no hot water available for heating. He said that some damage could come to light later on, especially now that hot water is being returned to the system. “This looks very good, however, as it stands today,” Páll said.
Páll added that success during this challenging time is owed to Reykjanes residents who obeyed electricity use guidelines during the hot water outage. The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has dispatched a team of plumbers over the last few days to help HS Veitur secure hot water flow to Reykjanes buildings. Tanker trucks were also sent from neighbouring Hafnarfjörður, delivering 1,800 tonnes of hot water to the area.
Insurance cases avoided
Frost damage due to a lack of hot water falls through the cracks of both traditional insurance and natural catastrophe insurance. It was therefore important for residents of Reykjanes to avoid frost damage after the hot water pipeline was damaged by lava flow.