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New Eruption Risk Map Published for North Iceland

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New Eruption Risk Map Published for North Iceland

Risk map for the Holuhraun eruption.

The closed-off area is marked with red. Photo: National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police.

The limits of the closed-off area around the Holuhraun eruption site have been changed by the police authorities following a new hazard assessment by the Icelandic Met Office for sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas pollution. The red-coded area stretches from Kverkfjöll in the north to Hrossaborg in the south in the northeastern highlands.

The risk map will be in effect until May when it will be up for review and takes in account the winter weather pattern north of Vatnajökull glacier where the Holuhraun eruption is ongoing, as explained in a statement released today.

Also off-limit is Jökulsárgljúfur, the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river canyon between Dettifoss waterfall and Ásbyrgi nature reserve, popular destinations in Northeast Iceland.

This is due to high risk of sudden floods in the river if a sub-glacial eruption were to occur in the Bárðarbunga caldera, which lies under Vatnajökull. The eruption in Holuhraun is being fed by the Bárðarbunga volcanic system.

Those who will be authorized to access to the red-coded, closed-off area, need to travel with utmost respect for the conditions, wearing gas masks and carrying meters to monitor the gas pollution level, mbl.is reports.

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