Some residents of Seyðisfjörður, East Iceland (pop. 659) have been permitted to return to the town following mudslides that destroyed several homes in the town centre. Nearly 300 cannot return to their homes as of yet. Many of the buildings hit by mudslides over the past several days were historic. No injuries have been reported.
All of East Iceland has been experiencing extremely heavy rainfall recently and state of uncertainty is in effect in the entire region due to risk of landslides. The state of alert is higher in Seyðisfjörður. After many days of record rainfall that saturated the steep slopes above the town, it was hit by several mudslides last Friday and over the weekend. Most Seyðisfjörður residents, or 581, were evacuated from their homes last Friday, but 305 were permitted to return home yesterday afternoon after weather conditions improved. A further 276 have not yet been permitted to return. Authorities have asked all others to stay away from the area.
Hope Most Residents Can Return Home By Christmas
Response teams met this morning to review the conditions in the town, which are being constantly monitored. Conditions have improved significantly since the rain let up and authorities have expressed the hope that most of Seyðisfjörður’s residents will be permitted to return home before Christmas but it is unlikely to be all residents. More news is expected on that front this afternoon.
The mudslides knocked out power to some parts of Seyðisfjörður. Crews are working to restore electricity to the affected areas. The municipality of Mulaþing will hold an online town hall meeting for Seyðisfjörður residents via its Facebook page at 4.00pm today.
A partial evacuation was also conducted last Friday in Eskifjörður, East Iceland, due to a risk of mudslides. None fell in residential areas of the town, and residents have since been permitted to return home.