Life-Threatening Conditions in Eldvörp Caves, Warning Issued

Grindavík - Þorbjörn

Following gas measurements conducted yesterday, the Icelandic Met Office has issued a warning for caves near the Eldvörp crater row in the Reykjanes peninsula (west of the Blue Lagoon). The Met Office conducts such analyses every week after a series of earthquakes, which resulted in considerable land uplift near Mt. Þorbjörn by Grindavík, occurred in late January.

A warning issued by a natural hazard expert with the Met Office states that changes in gas concentration have been measured, and in light of this the Met Office warns against exploring caves in the area. Measurements within one cave, in particular, indicated a life-threatening concentration of carbon dioxide along with a lack of oxygen.

“There are many caves in the area, but the cave in question is near a parking lot popular among travellers seeking to visit the Eldvörp crater row,” the statement reads. The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has been apprised of the situation.

In an interview with RÚV, Kristín Jónsdóttir, team leader with the natural disaster watch at the Met Office, stressed that the Met Office’s warning only applied to caves in the area: “Walking in the area should be safe. It’s a beautiful area and it’s fun to explore. But we’re warning travellers to refrain from exploring the caves.”

This article was updated at 2.33 pm.

Yellow Weather Alert Issued for Greater Reykjavík Area Today

The Icelandic Met Office issues yellow weather alert

The Icelandic Met Office has issued a yellow weather alert for the Faxaflói Bay, area, including the Greater Reykjavík Area, today. The warning will come into effect at noon and will stay in effect until 9 pm tonight.

The Met Office expects east and southeast winds between 15-23 m/S with gusts up to 30-35 m/s near mountains in the Faxaflói Bay area (including the Greater Reykjavík Area) today. A yellow weather alert has been issued from noon to 9 pm tonight. Travellers are advised to drive carefully as the weather is likely to cause, “some transport disturbances and closure of isolated routes.”

Over the day, the Met Office expects the weather to gradually improve in the south but grow worse in the west. A yellow weather alert will come into effect for the Breiðafjörður area later in the day. As meteorologists expect a blizzard in the West Fjords later today an orange weather alert will be in effect in the area from 5 pm today until noon Saturday.

WEATHER ALERTS:
South Iceland (Orange Alert, Blizzard): 12 pm – 3 pm
Central Highlands (Yellow Alert, Blizzard): 11 am – midnight
Faxaflói Bay, including RVK (Yellow Alert, Severe Gales): noon – 9 pm
Breiðafjörður (Yellow Alert, Northeast Blizzard): 3 pm – 11.30 am
West Fjords (Orange Alert, Blizzard): 5 pm – 14 pm tomorrow

The Met Office encourages travellers to monitor the weather today closely, e.g. on Safetravel.is where road conditions are displayed in real-time.