18.8.2014

Intense seismic activity at Bárðarbunga volcano

The National Commissioner of Police and the District Commissioner of Police at Hvolsvöllur and Húsavík have declared a Civil Protection Uncertainty phase due to unrest in Bárðabunga that started 16 August. Bárðabunga is in NW part of Vatnajökull glacier, but Vatnajökull covers an area of 8.300 square KM.  Bárðarbunga is an Icelandic subglacial stratovolcano and Iceland's largest volcanic system, located under the ice cap of Vatnajökull glacier, rising to 2,009 metres (6,591 ft) above sea level, making it the second highest mountain in Iceland. 

Vatnajokull_BardabungaThe intense seismic activity at Bárðarbunga is ongoing at the moment and very strong indications of ongoing magma movement, in connection with dyke intrusion, is corroborated by GPS measurements. Presently there are no signs of eruption, but it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive subglacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood (jökulhlaup) and ash emission. The situation is monitored closely.


There have been many meetings with the Department of Civil Protection and emergency management, Icelandic met office and the Institute of Earth Sciences to go over the situation. Scientist have increased monitoring of the area and the local authorities have reviewed their response plans.


The Police Commissioner of Húsavík has decided to close Gæsavatnaleið road and other highland roads east of Skjálfandafljót up to Askja. The road to Herðubreiðarlindir (F88) has also been closed due to potential flooding in the area following an eruption.


Up to date information on the roads in Iceland is available by phone in the number 1770.

 

Travellers are advised to constantly monitor the latest information on the web and visit nearest tourist information center.


Please follow these websites:
Safetravel.is
Civil Protection in Iceland (on Twitter) 
Civil Protection in Iceland (on Facebook) 
The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration   
The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service 
Webcam of Grimsvotn 

 




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