Around 80 people, mostly foreign tourists, were camping at Álftavatn along the popular Laugavegur hike in Iceland’s south-central highlands on Thursday night when a storm hit.
Stefán Jökull Jakobsson, who has worked at the hut at Álftavatn since 2000, told visir.is that he has never before witnessed such an evacuation at the campsite.
Stefán called the Icelandic Met Office around 8 pm when he became worried about the conditions. He went to inform the guests after he was told that the wind would increase and that a downpour was forecast. All in all, three tents blew away during the night.
Fifty of the tourists were moved to nearby Hvolsvöllur by bus at around 1 am in the morning. The remaining 30 slept in their tents. Their guide stayed awake during the night to monitor the conditions.
According to Stefán, only two of the 50 tourists who were moved were adequately prepared to continue the hike the following day.