Icelandic President: Amateur Volcano Expert - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic President: Amateur Volcano Expert

Icelandic President: Amateur Volcano Expert

Published April 23, 2010

Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has once again spoken to the BBC about the dangers of the volcano Katla, only with a considerably more reserved assessment.

The president made headlines last week when he told the BBC program Newsnight that the current eruption at Eyjafjallajökull was just a warm-up for Katla. He said it was not a question of if but when the volcano Katla will erupt, that the eruption could very well be devastating, and that Europe should prepare for it. This brought harsh criticism from the Iceland Tourist Board, the Confederacy of Icelandic Employers, and from the Minister of Industry herself, all of them contending that the president’s remarks were damaging to Iceland’s image.

At the time, the president countered that he believed it better to not hide potential dangers from the rest of the world. However, it was pointed out that Katla does not present any immediate danger.

The president, speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, said that there is no expectation for Katla to erupted in the coming years or possibly coming decades. He then said he hoped to see better times ahead now that the current eruption appears to be dying down.

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