Tourists Are Injured Near Icelandic Volcanic Eruption

Three vacationers have been injured in Iceland Wednesday evening as they trekked throughout tough terrain to a volcanic eruption drawing awe-struck onlookers to its sputtering fountains of red-hot lava, a spokeswoman for Iceland’s civil safety company stated.

The accidents, together with a damaged ankle, weren’t severe, however they underscored the dangers that vacationers face making an attempt to hike to the lava flowing from the Fagradalsfjall volcano in southwest Iceland, the spokeswoman, Hjordis Gudmundsdottir, stated in an interview on Thursday.

“We inform people who, although we all know it is spectacular and there is nothing prefer it, we now have to watch out, and we now have to be ready earlier than we go,” Ms. Gudmundsdottir stated.

The hike to and from the world, she stated, takes about 5 hours and, because the volcano erupted final 12 months, could contain crossing lava that’s nonetheless fragile and scorching beneath the floor. Officials have additionally warned of sudden fuel air pollution close to the eruption website.

“We are attempting to inform individuals it isn’t only a stroll within the park,” Ms. Gudmundsdottir stated. “People need to watch out and in good garments and good sneakers. We are attempting to inform that to each Icelanders and our overseas associates.”

The vacationer with a damaged ankle was taken by helicopter to a hospital, Ms. Gudmundsdottir stated. The different two have been helped off the volcano in automobiles, she stated.

Mrs. Gudmundsdottir stated she anticipated extra vacationers to reach within the coming days, particularly after darkish, when the fiery lava might be seen towards Iceland’s evening sky.

“We do not understand how many individuals have been there, however we all know it’s many, and we all know the following days, it will likely be extra,” she stated. “We know we won’t say, ‘Stay away.’ We should not locking the place.”

The lava started flowing on Wednesday from a floor fissure round Fagradalsfjall, close to the city of Grindavik on the Reykjanes peninsula, the Icelandic authorities stated in a press release. The eruption got here after intense seismic exercise during the last a number of days, the assertion stated.

The authorities stated that the eruption was thought-about to be “comparatively small” and that the chance to populated areas and demanding infrastructure was low. Fissure eruptions don’t often end in massive explosions or vital columns of ash flying into the stratosphere, the assertion stated.

But the federal government stated it was nonetheless advising individuals to not go to the location. The eruption website “is a harmful space and situations can change rapidly,” the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management stated in a press release on Thursday.

It warned that poisonous fuel can accumulate when the wind decreases, that new lava fountains can open with little warning and that accumulating lava can movement rapidly throughout the bottom.

The fissure is about 9 miles from a significant transportation hub, Keflavik Airport, and about 16 miles from the Reykjavik metropolitan space, the federal government stated.

“We’ve been anticipating an eruption someplace on this space because the sequence of earthquakes began final weekend,” Katrin Jakobsdottir, Iceland’s prime minister, stated in a press release. “We will after all proceed to watch the state of affairs carefully and now we additionally profit from the expertise gained from final 12 months’s eruption.”

There is an extended historical past of volcanic exercise in Iceland, which has greater than 30 energetic volcanoes. The nation straddles two tectonic plates, that are divided by an undersea mountain chain that oozes molten scorching rock, or magma. Quakes happen when the magma pushes by way of the plates.

Keflavik Airport stated on its web site on Thursday that there have been no disruptions to arriving or departing flights.

Icelandair additionally sought to reassure passengers that its flights had not been disrupted because it promoted the volcanic eruption on Facebook, writing on Wednesday that “Iceland’s summer season simply received hotter!” It included a hyperlink to a livestream of the eruption website.

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