From Iceland — Tourists Behave Riskier Than Locals At Eruption Site

Tourists Behave Riskier Than Locals At Eruption Site

Published June 29, 2021

Alina Maurer
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Tourists seem to behave differently at the eruption site than locals.

According to RÚV, foreign tourists are more likely to hike to the volcano in bad weather conditions than domestic visitors. As vaccinations progress around the globe, more tourists are traveling to Iceland and are eager to see the volcanic eruption in Geldingadalir.

Tourists going to the volcano no matter what

The mayor of Grindavík, Fannar Jónasson, has stated that thousands go to the eruption site every day and the number of foreign tourists has increased a lot. According to him, tourists seem to be going to the volcano, no matter how the weather forecast looks for the day. “They do not necessarily follow the weather or visibility announcements. They have come to see this and show up in worse weather than Icelanders, who are waiting for better visibility and better weather,” Fannar says.

Incidents have happened in the past

Just last weekend, an American tourist was lost after he got separated from his wife on the hike due to bad visibility. Luckily, he was found alive and well after twenty-four hours of searching. Additionally, many people have been seen walking on the hardened lava, which bears the risk of falling into the 1,300°C hot lava. Police and members of the search and rescue teams have repeatedly stated that people walking on the lava will not be rescued as it also endangers the rescuer’s lives.

Nevertheless, the mayor says that apart from the missing person, there have been no further problems at the eruption site. “There was more this spring when there were injuries on the trails. We are afraid that when autumn and winter comes, there may be more such accidents, but now it has not been much.”

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