Four foreign tourists and one Icelander were trapped in a modified truck after it got stuck in a river in Landmannalaugar in the southern highlands yesterday afternoon. Water had started leaking into the car and so they climbed out onto the roof from where they were saved.
ICE-SAR search and rescue teams and a Coast Guard helicopter were sent to the scene but it took a long time getting there due to slushy conditions and poor visibility in the pouring rain, Morgunblaðið reports.
The helicopter arrived with the travelers at the Landspítali National University Hospital Fossvogur building in Reykjavík around 8 pm. One of them required medical attention as he had become rather cold but the other four were in good condition and quickly discharged.
The river, which lies close to the parking lot at Landmannalaugar, is usually easy to cross and it is unclear what exactly made the truck stop. However, the river had swollen, as is currently the case with most other rivers in South, Southeast and West Iceland.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office warned yesterday of the risk of flooding in rivers in South and Southeast Iceland and advised farmers rear Hvítá and Ölfusá to move their livestock away from the rivers.
This morning the flow of water in Ölfusá measured 1,100 cubic meters per second, almost four times its regular flow of 300-350 cubic meters per second. The area is currently subject to heavy rain and so the swelling may continue, ruv.is reports.