From Iceland — Eruption Area Temporarily Closed Due To Gas Emissions

Eruption Area Temporarily Closed Due To Gas Emissions

Published March 22, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Civic Protection has a statement this morning saying that visiting the Geldingadalsgos eruption is now off-limits, for the time being, due to exceptionally high levels of dangerous gases being emitted by the eruption. Current weather conditions—high winds and low temperatures—further make the area unsafe to visit.

A yellow alert is currently in effect for the entirety of southwest Iceland due to gale-force winds reaching anywhere from 15-20 metres per second. These winds are traveling from southwest to northeast, and temperatures are in the single digits.

Weather conditions alone would make any sort of hike highly inadvisable, especially a hike that takes several hours, as the walk to Geldingadalsgos does. However, Civic Protection added to this saying that gas levels at the eruption site are now “very high”, necessitating closing the area to visitors.

Numerous people people visited the eruption site yesterday, and rescue workers had to assist many of them. Most of those afflicted had not dressed appropriately, despite warnings from Civic Protection to dress warmly if they planned on visiting the volcano.

Volcanic eruptions can emit many types of gases. The one of main concern here is sulphur dioxide (SO2), which in low levels can irritate the eyes and throat, and at higher levels, do significantly more damage.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

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