Reykjavík Metropolitan Area Police have issued a warning advising people to take care when walking downtown, as there is a very real danger of falling icicles.
While we are all enjoying the winter wonderland that Reykjavík is and will be this week, it is also important to remember that this season is not without its hazards. Apart from the woefully neglected and slippery sidewalks, there is also danger from above.
As snowfall has been visiting Reykjavík regularly, along with temperatures that frequently yo-yo up and down, very long and heavy icicles can form along the edges of roofs. As snow accumulates on rooftops, the sheer weight of the growing mass will encourage it to slowly slide towards the edge of the roof.
The added weight of one or more large icicles, already hanging from the snow ledge, increases the risk as weight surpasses the stability of the structure, gravity takes over, and the icicle drops earthward.
As you walk downtown, take care to not walk directly under the edge of a roof, if at all possible. Large blocks of snow falling on you can be painful, depending how far a fall they took, but an icicle can lead to more serious injuries. Consider yourself warned.
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