From Iceland — A Defense Wall Is Rising In Nátthagi

A Defense Wall Is Rising In Nátthagi

Published June 25, 2021

Brittnee Kiner
Photo by
Vísir / Vilhelm

Today, Civil Defense announced plans to slow the lava flow from Nátthagi down to Suðurstrandarvegur and Ísólfsskáli, a three to five meter-high defense wall is being built at the mouth of Nátthaga, according to Vísir.

Reinforcements against lava flow

Yesterday, construction was completed on a defense wall south of Geldingadalur. This fortification intends to direct lava flow from Geldingadalur and Nátthagakrik, down to Nátthagi. The hopes are to delay lava flow into Nátthagakrika.

When construction began on the wall, it was almost impossible to complete because of the lava flow in the area. However, fortunately, the lava slowed down enough for the Civil Defense to complete the fortification which now stands five meters high and is 200 meters long. Despite this, it is expected that the lava flow will reach the road, Suðurstrandarvegur, through Nátthagi in the coming weeks.

Building to buy time

A decision was made to build a three to five-meter defense wall at the mouth of Nátthaga to delay the movement of lava from Nátthagi to Suðurstrandarvegur and Ísólfsskáli. Authorities are attempting to collect more lava in Nátthagi, allowing for prolonged use of the road Suðurstrandarvegur and protecting the fiber-optic cable for a short time longer.

There was discussion previously of the construction of a defense wall in the same area but it was to be much larger in scale. The plan was abandoned because of its cost and eventuality of being overtaken if the eruption continued. However, this defense wall is going to be less extensive while still delaying the lava flow.

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