From Iceland — Situation In Seyðisfjörður Remains Fragile

Situation In Seyðisfjörður Remains Fragile

Published December 18, 2020

Photo by
Davíð Kristinsson –

RÚV reports that the chief police officer in East Iceland, Kristján Ólafur Guðnason, has said that the situation remains fragile today in Seyðisfjörður. This is due to the fact that continued precipitation will likely not begin to ease until tomorrow. Last night two further landslides occurred, displacing an unoccupied house from its foundation. The house was swept 50 metres away from its original location.

This comes after a tumultuous week for Seyðisfjörður, as precipitation amounting to 350mm caused initial landslides on Tuesday. 120 people were forced to evacuate their homes, and a state of emergency was declared in Seyðisfjörður. As residents have been unable to return home, the full extent of any damage to property remains to be seen. Kristján is hopeful that the situation will improve tomorrow, as precipitation is expected to ease. The situation is being monitored closely to determine if surrounding areas may also be at risk, and therefore require evacuation.

The evacuation was already expanded from its initial reaches, which meant that 10 people spent the night in the Red Cross aid station, RÚV reports. This aid station had been set up in Seyðisfjörður earlier in the week to help provide shelter and information to those who were evacuated from their homes. On Tuesday night, 110-120 people were at the shelter, but did not stay the night. Last night, those who took shelter at the aid station were provided with mattresses, blankets, and coffee.

The situation today will become clearer as the day goes on and officials can assess the risk level. Currently, those in the area have been advised to avoid non-essential travel, as the ground is flooded and waterlogged.

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