Tourists Caught in Storm in Southeast Iceland

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Tourists Caught in Storm in Southeast Iceland

Around 40 tourists were stranded in three buses west of Jökulsárlón, Southeast Iceland, due to bad weather on Tuesday. Three of the buses’ window panes broke in the raging storm but no one was injured, according to ruv.is.

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The photo is unrelated to the story. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

The tourists were transported to a nearby hotel in an armored vehicle by search and rescue services. Gusts reached up to  45 to 50 m/s in the surrounding area.

Gunnar Sigurjónsson, head of the local search and rescue team, told ruv.is that the tour group had been warned about traveling in the area. Helgi Jón Davíðsson, one of the three guides who were traveling with the tourists, however, told ruv.is that the guests had not been at risk and that the weather had been worse than forecast. “I told him [Gunnar] that with winds of 35 meters per second, it is possible for us to travel but the winds ended up being up to 45 meters per second, which makes the area almost impassable except for in emergencies,” said Helgi, who is an experienced guide working with Extreme Iceland. Helgi added that the wind had been so strong it felt like a shotgun was firing at the bus.

From Freysnes, the group was transported by armored vehicle to a hotel west of Skeiðarársandur where they spent Christmas Eve.

ZR