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Travel Agents Evaluate Holuhraun Eruption Tours

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Travel Agents Evaluate Holuhraun Eruption Tours

The Holuhraun eruption seen from a distance, across a lava field.

Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Companies involved in tourism in Iceland are looking into whether tours can be offered to a viewing point 10 km (6.4 miles) from the Holuhraun eruption site after the closed-off area in the northeastern highlands was reduced last week.

Until now, the borders of the closed-off area were 25 km away from the eruption site.

An expedition was planned at noon today with the goal of viewing the eruption in twilight. The party had decided to drive through Dyngjufjalladalur valley and south alongside the mountain Kattbekingur northwest of Holuhraun, ruv.is reports.

“We will be at a 10-km distance but before we were at a 25-km distance. Mountains blocked the view from where we stood before but there should be an unobstructed view from that location,” stated managing director of Mývatn ehf. Yngvi Ragnar Kristjánsson, one of the expeditioners. “It wouldn’t hurt to see northern lights on the way back.”

The purpose of the trip is to estimate whether sightseeing tours can be offered to Holuhraun by car. The eruption cannot be seen as clearly from the ground after the crater grew taller and travel agents want to make sure that tourists won’t be left feeling disappointed.

“It’s always magnificent to travel the highlands and let alone to an area where new land is being created. But there’s the question of whether it’s enough for people to experience what they’re hoping for when an eruption is being talked about,” Yngvi explained.

The eruption carries on with significant force, even though the activity has decreased since mid-January, as stated in the latest status report from the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection yesterday.

On Monday, six months had passed since increased seismicity was first picked up in Bárðarbunga volcano under Vatnajökull glacier, which feeds the eruption. Strong earthquakes continue to occur in the caldera.

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