Iceland Eruption Open for Tourists

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Iceland Eruption Open for Tourists

Vídir Reynisson, divisional manager of the Civil Protection Department, said their goal is to allow tourists to travel to the area near the volcanic eruption zone on Fimmvörduháls in south Iceland so they can view the spectacle up close.

Photo by Hallgrímur Egilsson. Taken by the river Markarfljót (road F-261).

“We are looking at accessibility for tourists to the area and how it can be improved,” Reynisson told visir.is. If their safety can be guaranteed, the area can be opened up for tourists, he said.

The weather in south Iceland was stormy yesterday and the visibility poor so the eruption could not be seen. However, its development is still under constant observation and Reynisson said the eruption is not losing force.

The Civil Protection Department released a statement for the attention of travelers keen on observing the eruption yesterday morning, which reads as follows:

“Volcanic eruptions are dangerous by definition and must be treated with respect. People who enter areas that have been declared danger zones are there at their own risk.

They cannot expect immediate rescue because rescue services have a predefined responsibility towards the region’s inhabitants and must help out with evacuation if the situation changes.

Thórsmörk, Fimmvörduháls and Eyjafjallajökull are defined as closed areas.

A special danger zone has also been defined—a 15 kilometer radius from the crater.

The visibility of the eruption depends on the weather. The weather forecast for the next 24 hours remains poor.

The crater can be seen in many locations in south Iceland, for example in Hvolsvöllur and Hella. There is a good view from the innermost part of Fljótshlíd but the area cannot handle much traffic.

The condition of roads must be taken into consideration. The environment is particularly sensitive at this time of year, when the ground is beginning to thaw, and therefore there is reason to emphasize that off-road driving is prohibited.

All trails are sensitive towards traffic at this time of year.

Drivers are encouraged to drive in accordance with road conditions and make sure their vehicles are well-equipped.

There will be continued policing in the area and tourists are asked to follow the police’s requests as well as the requests of rescue team members who assist with traffic control.

On behalf of the coordination center (SST), Rögnvaldur Ólafsson.”

Some tour operators are now offering customized eruption tours.

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