The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police in association with the District Commissioner in South Iceland declared an Alert Phase yesterday due to the fast rising flash flood in Skaftá glacial river which began yesterday and will continue for several days.
According to the Icelandic Met Office, much uncertainty surrounds the size of the flood and the area affected by floodwater. Travelers are advised to stay at a good distance away from the rivers Skaftá and Hverfisfljót.
Alert Phase means that if hazard assessment indicates increased threat, immediate measures must be taken to ensure the safety and security of people in the area, as explained in a press release from the Civil Protection Department.
This is done by increasing preparedness of the emergency and security services in the area and by taking preventive measures, such as restrictions, closures, evacuations and relocation of inhabitants.
The public will be kept informed: the authorities will provide advice and issue warning messages if necessary.
Skaftá originates in Skaftárjökull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull in South Iceland near Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Click here to see a map of the area.