Iceland Katla Eruption Remembered by 100-Year-Old

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Iceland Katla Eruption Remembered by 100-Year-Old

Jónína Geirlaug Ólafsdóttir, who was born at Álftarhóll in Austur-Landeyjar, Rangárvallasýsla county, South Iceland, on February 13, 1913, remembers the effects of the last volcanic eruption in Katla in 1918 vividly.

katla_eruption_1918

The 1918 Katla eruption.

“We didn’t have much at that time but everyone was helpful. Those who had something shared it with others,” Jónína told Morgunblaðið.

The same year was the ‘Great Winter of Frost’ and Jónína, who lived in an unheated turf house, clearly remembers the cold.

“My father had to go out every morning to break the ice on the well and wipe snow and ice off the animals. We only left the house to care for the animals,” she recounted.

Jónína is fit for her age and still lives by herself in an apartment in Breiðholt, a district of Reykjavík. “My health is fortunately good and I stumble around here with my cane. I have nothing to do at a nursing home and I’d rather not move to such an institution.”

She moved from the countryside to the capital during World War II and has lived there since, working as a cleaner for the airline Flugleiðir, now Icelandair.

Jónína, whose centennial birthday was on Wednesday, will celebrate with her family next weekend; the party will be at her son’s house in Garðabær. He is in his seventies.

There have been speculations that the volcano Katla may about to get ready for another eruption but there have been no news of seismic activity around the crater lately.

Click here to read more about Katla.

ESA