Approximately 70 people spent last night at a makeshift emergency center in Hofgarður in Öræfi, under Vatnajökull glacier in South Iceland. The windows of their cars were shattered by rocks hurled by the raging storm.
These were travelers picked up by search and rescue on Skeiðarársandur plains and other commuters who had sought refuge in Freysnes.
The storm had caused rocks to rain over their vehicles, damaging paintwork and shattering windows. Doors were also blown open. Search and rescue squad Kári in Öræfi used an armored car to pick the people up, as stated in an ICE-SAR press release.
Gale force winds also wreaked havoc in Mýrdalur further to the west. Outhouses at farms were damaged and a large truck blew over on to its side.
Search and rescue were busy securing roofs in South Iceland, assisting stranded drivers on highland road Kjölur and beating ice off electric lines in North Iceland into the night.
Earlier in the day, drivers were also assisted on Jökulháls, Námaskarð, Sprengisandur, Vatnsskarð eystra, Fjarðarheiði and Kollafjarðarheiði. Mountain roads have become impassable due to snowfall and icy conditions.
From Höfn in the southeast to Akureyri in the north, people reported roof slates coming loose, containers blowing away and trees being blown over. In Bolungarvík in the West Fjords, boats were coming loose at the pier.
The Icelandic Road Administration released a statement saying that even though the storm has peaked in most parts of the country, squalls of 30 to 40 meters per second can still be expected below mountains in South and Southeast Iceland today.
A sandstorm is predicted on Skeiðarársandur and Mýrdalssandur throughout the day, ruv.is reports.
Snowfall and poor visibility will continue on mountain roads in North and Northeast Iceland. Mountain passes and highland roads are widely impassable.
For updates on road conditions, go to the administration’s website.