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Residents to Meet to Discuss Eruption Pollution

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Residents to Meet to Discuss Eruption Pollution

sulfur dioxide pollution from Holuhraun eruption in Fáskrúðsfjörður, East Iceland, September 10, 2014

Haze from the pollution in the East Fjords in early September. Photo: Zoë Robert.

A community meeting will be held in Höfn, Southeast Iceland, at 8 pm tonight to discuss the impact of the ongoing volcanic eruption in Holuhraun. Representatives of the Earth Sciences Institute, the Directorate of Health, the Icelandic Met Office, the Environment Agency of Iceland and the Civic Protection Department will attend the meeting, ruv.is reports.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution levels reached 21,000 mµ/m3 in the region in late October, the highest in inhabited areas since the eruption began two and a half months ago.

According to information on the website of the Directorate of Health, at levels higher than 2,000 mµ/m3 everyone may experience respiratory symptoms, especially individuals with underlying diseases. People are advised to stay indoors with the windows closed and the heating on.

Above 9,000 mµ/m3 the symptoms grow more severe and above 14,000 mµ/m3 the situation is considered to be hazardous.

Earlier this week, it was reported that farmers in the Höfn area have found a large number of dead mice which appear to have died suddenly. According to the Southeast Iceland Nature Center, the likely explanation is that the mice died from the pollution or something they ate but it is too late to perform an autopsy.

According to the latest status report from the Civil Protection Department, there are no signs that the eruption is slowing.

The meeting will take place in Hótel Höfn.

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