Repairing the badly damaged Route 1 in the south of Iceland, which was torn apart by a jökullhlaup last weekend, might not take very long at all, if history is any indication.
As reported, geological activity under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in the south of Iceland created flash floods that washed away a fair portion of Route 1 in the south of Iceland last weekend. With seismic activity appearing to be calming down, and the flood now over, officials are turning their attention towards repairing the damage done.
RÚV reports that rebuilding a bridge on the site has already begun. Íris Marelsdóttir of the Civil Protection authority estimates that some 1,200 passengers pass through the area every day. As repairs continue, passengers and small cars are being transported across the river by truck.
The estimated time it will take to finish repairs is set to a matter of weeks rather than months. As some may recall, in 1996 a much larger glacial flooding of the Skeiðará river – which pounded the southeastern region with the force of 50,000 cubic metres of water per second – washed out a very large portion of Route 1 and destroyed bridges there. However, road and bridge repairs were completed in three weeks.
Seeing how damage from a much larger flood from 16 years ago was repaired at this speed, repairing the roads after the comparatively small flood from last weekend should not take very long.