This is the second time in as many weeks authorities have had to close the trails for poor weather. Despite the last closure, a number of people went to the eruption anyway and had to be evacuated by search and rescue personnel, according to reports.
Birta Líf Kristinsdóttir, a meteorologist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, says there is a chance that gas from the eruption will reach settlements on Reykjanes.
“We encourage people to be aware of it and follow it on loftgaedi.is,” she says. “If it feels symptoms or is sensitive to it, it’s good to close the windows.”
Today marks two weeks since the eruption started, and since then there has been a record-breaking streak of visitors. Police counts show over 5,000 people visited the eruption on Monday. Police say about 10-20 people need help from search and rescue personnel each day.
According to figures from Isavia published by Vísir, around 125 helicopter tours have departed from Reykjavík Airport every day in recent days.
Recent measurements reveal the eruption is releasing 3-4 cubic metres of lava per second, a significant decrease from the first day at 32 cubic metres per second, and later measurements at 15 cubic metres per second.
“If those numbers are correct and it falls below three cubic meters, the eruption will actually stop,” volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson told Fréttablaðið.
Þorvaldur says the volume of lava from the Meradalir eruption outweighs that of last year’s eruption at Geldingadalir. This year’s eruption is estimated to have released 650,000 cubic metres in total.
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