From Iceland — 305 Seyðisfjörður Residents Allowed To Return Home

305 Seyðisfjörður Residents Allowed To Return Home

Published December 21, 2020

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305 Seyðisfjörður residents have been allowed to return to their homes, RÚV reports. This is after the entire town was evacuated on Friday due to landslides. These residents were allowed to return home yesterday afternoon, although 276 people remain in evacuation due to the risk of further landslides.

The landslides in Seyðisfjörður first occurred on Tuesday evening, and were caused due to high levels of precipitation (reportedly, 350mm in six days) in the area. Initially 120 people were evacuated from the area and a state of emergency was declared. Throughout the week, the situation remained unstable, as flooding and further landslides occurred. Eventually the evacuation was extended to cover the entire town, as well as parts of Eskifjörður.

On Thursday night, an unoccupied house was hit by a landslide and swept 50 metres from its original location. Several other houses in the town have been damaged, and some of the area is still without electricity. On Friday, though, rescue workers were able to restore power to the most important parts of the town, RÚV reports.

Yesterday, the threat level was reduced from ’emergency’ to ‘danger’, and the evacuation of Eskifjörður was lifted. The Civil Defense stated that a service centre will be opened to assist Seyðisfjörður residents with obtaining information and help with recovering from the impact of the landslides. The situation in Seyðisfjörður remains unresolved, especially for the 276 people who remain in evacuation due to the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s assessment that there is a risk that further landslides may occur. Officials and flood experts are continuing to monitor the situation to determine when it will be safe for the remaining evacuees to return home.

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