The volcano Katla, located close to the southern Ring Road, has continued to rumble intermittently over the last weeks. Over 200 earthquakes were recorded on September 29th and 30th, resulting in the eruption threat level being elevated to “yellow” status. The road to the popular Sólheimajökull glacier was closed, and people were forbidden from walking on the glacier. However, the earthquakes subsided, and the road has been reopened. Katla erupts roughly every 50 years, with the last major eruption recorded over 98 years ago. Although earthquakes happen often around the volcano, it’s worth staying aware if you’re travelling in the area.
The Icelandic Road & Coastal Authority (IRCA) reports that traffic on Iceland’s Ring Road has increased by 17% in September 2016 compared to same time last year. It’s the single biggest leap the IRCA has ever recorded. They measure traffic using cameras dotted around the island, and their footage also shows that East Iceland has seen the biggest increase, with a startling jump of 42%. The state of many of Iceland’s roads—particularly connecting sections of unpaved dirt track—is often dire, and the government is likely to come under renewed criticism for their lack of infrastructure investment given the dramatic increase in tourist traffic.
A WowAir passenger flight was struck by lightning mid-flight recently. Icelander Halldór Guðmundsson managed to capture the exact moment the bolt hit the plane in a mobile phone video, and his dramatic footage quickly went viral. The fact that the plane continued as if nothing happened is reassuring… we guess? In other weather news, this autumn has already seen several storm warnings, with the Icelandic Met Office telling drivers to check the wind conditions before setting out on any particularly long or adventurous journeys. Take a look at en.vedur.is before you set out to see what’s up.