Barrier in Case of Flood under Construction

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Barrier in Case of Flood under Construction

By Zoë Robert
Construction of a barrier to protect the bridge over Jökulsá á Fjöllum

Photo: Zoë Robert.

The Icelandic Road Administration is making preparations to close the bridge over the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum to Öxarfjörður, Northeast Iceland, in the event of a glacial outburst flood. Iceland Review is currently at the site.

Construction of a barrier to protect the bridge over Jökulsá á Fjöllum

Photos: Zoë Robert.

Work has also begun on constructing a barrier to protect the foundations of the bridge to prevent it from being washed away should a large flood occur. 

In addition, contingency plans are being activated by Landsnet, which operates Iceland’s electricity transmission system. In recent days, spare generators have been put in place in the event that damage occurs to the Kópasker power line, visir.is reports. 

The bridge over Jökulsá á Fjöllum

As reported, the area which may be affected by the eruption and possible flooding has been evacuated. Sigrún Herdísardóttir of the local police told Iceland Review that search and rescue volunteers were combing the area on foot, by motorcycle and by car for travelers. Police are making a record of all people who leave the area to ensure that everyone is accounted for.

Around 400 people were in Jök­uls­árgljúfr­um when news of the eruption broke shortly after 2 pm today, mbl.is reports. 

Seismic data indicates a small lava-eruption under the Dyngjujökull glacier. According to interpretation, magma has come in touch with ice. This has not resulted in flooding yet. 

A notice from the Icelandic Met Office published earlier reads:

According to the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, the situation at this stage does not call for evacuation of habitants in Kelduhverfi, Öxarfjördur and Núpasveit. People in those areas are encouraged to watch news closely and have their mobiles switched on at all times.

Police closing the roads in the flood zone.

The Police closing a road in the flood risk zone earlier today. 

No visible changes were seen when the Icelandic Coast Guard airplane TF-SIF flew over the area this afternoon with representatives from the Civil Protection and experts from the Icelandic Met Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences. Data from radars and web-cameras is being received, showing no signs of changes at the surface. The estimate is that 150-400 meters of ice is above the area.

The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red.

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