From Iceland — Heavy Rain And Winds Raise Warning Level To Orange

Heavy Rain And Winds Raise Warning Level To Orange

Published July 17, 2020

Catherine Magnúsdóttir
Photo by

Heavy rain and winds coming in from the northeast have caused the Icelandic Meteorological Office to issue an orange level warning for the Westfjords.

Water levels in streams and rivers are expected to rise and authorities warn of possible floods, landslides and falling rocks around the Westfjords as well as in Strandir, Skaga and Tröllaskagi.

Due to the weather, this year’s Runner Festival in the Westfjords has been cancelled. The festival was set to be held this weekend. According to Vísir, the organisers stated in an announcement to the competitiors, that due to the very bad weather conditions and the risk of landslides in competition areas, they do not see themselves able to ensure the safety of competitors and have, in consultation with the Meteorological Office, canceled the running festival.

Visitors at a campsite in Tungudalur, in the Westfjords, also had to evacuate the camping premises last night when the river Buná that runs through the site began to flood its banks.

In a conversation with Fréttablaðið, the camp’s operations manager Alberta Guðbjartsdóttir said that, “Most campers managed to move their motorhomes and accomodations across the bridge, but very few decided to stay with their houses on the other side of the area, knowing that it was uncertain when we would be able to reopen the road.”

She says there is still a lot of water in the river and that it will continue to rain a lot today. She does not expect the situation to change until tomorrow at the earliest. Potential damage has not been assessed at this point.

A yellow level warning is still in place for northern regions, due to sharp winds and heavy rain. Strong winds have also caused disturbances in the south-west. In the capital area and Suðurnes police were repeatedly called out due to wind damages such as falling roof tiles and two escaped trampulines that crashed into cars and caused some damages, according to Vísir.

According to the Meteorological Office, heavy rainfall and thawing are also expected at Mýrdalsjökull and south of Vatnajökull, adding to rising water levels and high flows in streams and rivers. Mudslides may also pose a danger and tourists are encouraged to exercise caution in unbridged rivers.

People are encouraged to read the weather forecasts and warnings on the Meteorological Office’s website.

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