From Iceland — State Of Emergency Declared In Seyðisfjörður Due To Landslides

State Of Emergency Declared In Seyðisfjörður Due To Landslides

Published December 16, 2020

Photo by
Davíð Kristinsson –

Vísir reports that a state of emergency was declared in Seyðisfjörður by the National Commissioner of Police last night. This is due to landslides which occurred in the area yesterday evening. The chief of police, as well as the Icelandic Meteorological Office, consulted on the matter.

Approximately 120 people were forced to leave their homes due to the landslides. Vísir reports that, so far, no injuries are known of, but some properties have been affected by the flooding. The Eastfjords have reportedly seen a lot of rain in the past six days, which has caused accumulated precipitation in Seyðisfjörður to exceed 350 mm. Landslides have also occurred at Eskifjörður and Fáskrúðsfjörður. As continued rain is predicted, there is a risk that further landslides will occur.

Fréttablaðið reports that in addition to the declared state of emergency, a danger level has been announced. This level of risk refers to instances of threat to human health and safety due to nature or human activity. The next level up from this would be emergency level.

In response to the landslides, the Icelandic Red Cross opened an aid station in Seyðisfjörður last night, RÚV reports. Though initially there were 110-120 people at the aid station, nobody stayed the night. The aid shelter will re-open this morning to provide information and shelter to those who may need it.

Vísir reports this morning that those who were asked to evacuate their homes were given the opportunity to return home to collect some of their essential belongings. They will be escorted by the police or accompanied by rescue workers. This operation will be carried out systematically throughout the day.

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