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Iceland Volcano Causes Two More Floods

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Iceland Volcano Causes Two More Floods

Two more floods came from the Gígjökull glacial tongue into the Markarfljót river during the night. The latter flood was as big as the flood yesterday evening. Markarfljót has damaged over 400 meters of the Ring Road to the east of the Markarfljót bridge.

Eyjafjallajökull glacier and the farm Thorvaldseyri, where flooding has caused damage to pastures. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Yesterday evening, the Civil Protection Department decided to immediately evacuate the areas most affected by Eyjafjallajökull last night, when it became known that a large flood was on its way down from Gígjökull. Residents were requested to leave their houses immediately and to go to higher areas and to safe areas, ruv.is reports.

The evacuation was then lifted some time later except for those from the 20 farms that were evacuated the previous night. There was little evidence of ash fall in the local community this morning.

The ash cloud had moved north and the ash had thus probably fallen in uninhabited areas. The Meteorological Office assumes there will be a westerly wind for most of the day but this will change to a strong northerly wind in the eruption area this evening. The ash could then fall south of the glaciers this evening and tonight.

The water level in Markarfljót rose between 2 am and 3 am this morning and was similar to the maximum water level of the flood last night, according to a press release from the Environment Ministry. The water level has dropped since then. It is thought probable that mud and sand had elevated the bottom of the river.

No earthquake has been recorded in the area since before 7 pm yesterday evening.

The protective dykes mostly withstood the floods. The soil conservation levee at Mt. Thórólfsfell by the Fljótshlíd district was the first to be in the path of the oncoming flood.

An official from the Civil Defense Commission said that the levee at Thórólfsfell was damaged and that water had flowed over part of it yesterday.

The southern section had been subject to damage. It is not clear whether the floods during the night had caused further damage to it. If this levee goes, there could conceivably be an added burden on other levees.

Little change in high-altitude winds is expected and so it is presumed that ash will continue to be carried over Europe.

The press release from the Environment Ministry says that a jet of ash now lies over northern Norway and evidence of ash fall has been found.

Ash fall can be expected widely in Europe today. The ash stream now lies over the northern coast of Poland, Germany and France, Belgium, the south coast of England and northwest Russia.

The ash is very fine with a high concentration of fluorine and has been likened to flour and sugar. It is dangerous to livestock in places where the ash layer is greater than one cm thick.

Click here for further information on the ash fall and how to protect yourselves.

Our special offer for the Iceland Review magazine with eruption photos and coverage. Now you can also buy a unique book with Páll Stefánsson's photographs of the eruption on Fimmvörduháls.

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