Firefighting Efforts Continue at Reykjanes Eruption

litli hrútur eruption 2023

Authorities announced today that the Meradalaleið (Hiking Trail E) would be closed so that firefighting teams could transport equipment. The eruption site was still accessible from Suðurstrandarvegur (the South Coast Road). Meradalaleið has since been reopened.

RÚV reports that tanker trucks will be employed for the first time today. Previously, water had been transported to the eruption site by helicopter.

The new tankers will be of great use to the teams at the site, able to transport some eight to ten thousand litres of water per trip. The helicopter previously in use had only been able to carry one to two thousand litres per trip.

Einar Sveinn Jónsson, the chief of the Grindavík Fire Department, stated to RÚV:

“We are heading up the mountain and are planning to try to tackle this with the tankers. We have about six to eight vehicles shuttling water up, in addition to personnel and shovels to help if we need to clear stones. It’s a major operation today.”

So far, some 400 hectares (988 acres) of moss have been destroyed by wildfires in the area.

The Grindavík Fire Department is also receiving significant assistance from both ICE-SAR and neighbouring fire departments.

Three Dead in East Iceland Plane Crash

fatal accident Iceland

Three died last night, July 9, in a plane crash southwest of Egilsstaðir.

First responders in East Iceland were called out last night after following reports of a missing plane, reported to be a Cessna 172. The 4-seater aircraft sent out a distress call around 5:01pm. In addition to ICESAR and a coastguard helicopter, Vísir reports that a helicopter from a tourist travel service also joined the search. Nearly all East Iceland first responders were called out.

The wreckage was seen around 8:00pm last night. Initially spotted by an Icelandair flight en route to Egilsstaðir, the crash site was confirmed by the tourism helicopter.

The three, including the pilot and two passengers, were pronounced dead at the scene.

East Iceland police have stated that the case is still in its early stages and they will investigate the matter further with the proper authorities.

Avalanche in Skagafjörður Leaves 15 Horses Dead

An avalanche in Skagafjörður, near the town of Hofsós in North Iceland, has left 15 horses dead.

The avalanche occurred around 1pm on December 26. The Search and Rescue team “Grettir” was called to the scene, but all horses were found dead upon their arrival.

Residents and farms of nearby Unadalur are reported as being safe from the avalanche, with no further reported damage to property or livestock.

Rescue teams in Iceland have been very busy over the holiday season, with many roads left impassable in the winter weather, leaving many travelers stranded as well.