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Torrential Rain Washes Away East Iceland Roads And Bridges

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Torrential Rain Washes Away East Iceland Roads And Bridges

Sheep rescued after flooding in East Iceland

Stranded sheep were placed into small boats in order to rescue them from the torrential rain that had flooded their grasslands. Photo: Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg

South-East and Eastern Iceland have faced torrential rain, with severe damage to the main road, as well as bridges. The country‘s main road has been severed at Hólmsá, and around forty sheep are believed to have drowned.

The rain has caused floods from all major rivers, with drains having overflown, which damaged roads. A mudslide fell over the road close to Fossá, and the road close by is now underwater, so drivers are asked to think twice before attempting to cross over.

Whole grasslands have turned into lakes, which endangered over two hundred and thirty stranded sheep. Rescue groups managed to save a hundred and eighty, with around forty to fifty sheep believed to have drowned in the water.

Nearly seventy tourists have sought help in two emergency stations that were opened at Hofgarður and Mánagarður, as the collapsed roads have prevented them from going anywhere.

In an interview with MBL, Friðrik J. Friðriksson at the South Eastern Rescue Unit confirmed that the road wouldn‘t reopen today. According to him, tourists have shown the situation great understanding. What proves to be the most difficult is to assist locals who can‘t return home.

Four weeks ago, a new walking bridge was opened over Hólmsá river near Fláa glacier. The opening ceremony was attended by Hornafjörður‘s mayor, an ex-minister, and member of parliament. It has now been destroyed due to the torrential rain.

"We‘re completely devastated, the people behind this project. But as we all know, we can never underestimate nature," Helga Árnadóttir, assistant park ranger at Höfn told Vísir this morning.

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