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Skaftá Surrounds Ring Road, Swelling in South Iceland Rivers

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Skaftá Surrounds Ring Road, Swelling in South Iceland Rivers

The bridge across Eldvatn, South Iceland, in the Skaftá flood 2015.

The bridge across Eldvatn. Photo: The Icelandic Road Administration/Facebook.

Water from the flash flood in glacial river Skaftá in South Iceland now flows on both sides of the Ring Road. However, the flood appears to be subsiding and the road remains open. The bridge across Eldvatn by Ásar, South of the Ring Road, still stands, but it may collapse as the flood has torn dirt away from its pillars.

The force of the flow of the Skaftá flood is now down to 350 cubic meters per second by Eldvatn and 260 cubic meters per second at Sveinstindar, closer to its origin, which is only a tenth of what it measured when the flood peaked, ruv.is reports.

This is the largest flood in Skaftá on record, and farmers have reported significant damage to their land. The river floods every few years and until now, farmers have not been compensated. However, they have never experienced damages of this extent before.

Rivers in South Iceland have swollen extensively due to extreme downpour in the region since last night. There is so much water in Hverfisfljót that the meter has stopped registering the water level and the water level by the bridge across Skálm has also reached record height.

However, the region’s Chief of Police Sveinn K. Rúnarsson told RÚV that all roads are open. He does not believe the swelling in rivers has anything to do with the flood in Skaftá. “One of my officers looked into it this morning and he says the water is clear so there is no mud from the glacier. It appears to be just rainwater.”

The outlook is for continued rain today.

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