More than 400 people, scientists and others, have been recruited to work on projects related to the volcanic eruption in Holuhraun and seismic activity in Bárðarbunga since increased activity was first picked up there on August 16.
Eruption-related projects in the first four weeks have cost the Icelandic state more than ISK 100 million (USD 829,000, EUR 656,000), Fréttablaðið reports.
Víðir Reynisson, director of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, said his office had come to the above conclusion when asked to compile eruption-related costs and submit them to the committee of ministers appointed because of the events.
He said that the department’s eight employees have exclusively worked on projects related to the increased seismic activity in Bárðarbunga and eruption in Holuhraun since August 16.
“In addition, ten healthcare employees, ten people from the Red Cross and a multitude of search and rescue squad members have been involved,” Víðir added.
Sigrún Karlsdóttir, director of the Icelandic Met Office’s natural hazard division, said the earthquake monitoring team has been on 24-hour shifts and the hydrological monitoring team on call since the eruption started on August 29.
A total of 107 employees at the Icelandic Met Office have been involved in the project so far. Sigrún explained it had been important to establish automatic monitors to make surveillance easier and increase knowledge of the unfolding events.
“The Met Offices computer scientists have worked miracles,” she stated.
Around 30 scientists from the University of Iceland have also been involved in the project, along with 50 new graduates, students, office workers and temporary employees.