Immediately after the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police raised the Civil Protection level to Alert Phase the National Crisis Coordination Center was fully activated. Evacuation of the area North of Vatnajökull was successful. The situation will continue to be closely monitored. Many issues in connection with the evacuation of the area were dealt with, and preparations made for necessary actions should seismic activity in the area increase.
The seismic activity is still continuing at a similar rate as yesterday. As before, the majority of the events is high-frequency events located at the magma dyke beneath Dyngjujökull/east of Bárðarbunga, depth 5-12 km, and do not seem to have migrated farther north during the night.
A few events were also located at the Bárðarbunga caldera (north and east of caldera rim) and are shallower and with lower frequencies. The largest events occurred last night (20 Aug) and after midnight its magnitude 3.0. Other low-frequency events occurred at 04:15:43 and 05:45:51 UTM.
Icelandic Coast Guard flew over the Bárdarbunga area on TF-SIF with scientists from Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), University of Iceland, Safe Travel and representatives of the Civil Protection. Further data was collected and measurements made of the glacier. The aircraft is well equipped and has proved useful in monitoring Icelandic volcanoes. The expedition took seven hours. Scientists from IMO did also go up on the glacier to install new GPS stations and seismometers
Yesterday‘s evacuation of the area went well and after midnight Kverkfjöll, Dreki and Herðubreiðarlindir had been evacuated. Further surveillance of the area will be conducted today. A special permit from the Civil Protection authorities will be needed for those entering the area. Farmers were allowed to go into the area to get livestock to safety.
ISAR (Volunteer Rescue Units)
ISAR units in Northern Iceland have assisted in closing and evacuating in the highland.
The Civil Protection department and the Police Commissioner in Húsavík in cooperation with ICESAR and other key stakeholders will meet in Húsavík at 12:00 today and go over the situation. Similar meeting will be held at Egilsstaðir on Friday. A meeting with the residents of Öxarfjörður will be held tonight at 20:00 in Öxarfjörður. Tomorrow a meeting will be held with the residents of Mývatnssveit at 13:00 and with the residents of Húsavík at 16:00.
The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration has, in consultation with the Civil Protection, closed the following mountain roads: F- 910 Austurleid Dyngjufjallaleid), F903, Hvannalindarvegur, F902, Kverkfjallaleid, F905, Arnardalsleid og F88, Oskjuleid. A map of the area can be found here: http://www.vegagerdin.is/media/umferd-og-faerd/Halendi.pdf
Next status report
Status reports will be sent from the National Crisis Coordination Center daily, and more frequently if needed.
A media unit is placed at the National Crisis Coordination Center, providing information and dealing with media requests. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: +354-5702644/43.
Website on safe travel in Iceland: www.safetravel.is