Minister of Fisheries, Agriculture, the Environment and Natural Resources Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson unveiled a memorial on Wednesday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the start of the underwater eruption that formed the island Surtsey and confirm its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Surtsey. Photo. Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
The memorial is located at Breiðabakki on Heimaey with a view of Surtsey—the southernmost island of the Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) archipelago, Fréttablaðið reports.
Heimaey locals also had a good view of the Surtsey eruption, which lasted from 1963 to 1967.
After the minister’s address to attendees of the ceremony, he observed construction of the museum Eldheimar, which will facilitate remains from the Heimaey eruption.
Afterwards, a reception was held in the Surtsey Center.
In January 1973, Heimaey’s inhabitants had to escape to the mainland due to an unexpected volcanic eruption which lasted months. The eruption’s 40th anniversary will be celebrated at the annual ‘end of eruption’ festival on Heimaey in early July.
Iceland Review will attend the celebration.