Iceland flooding past the worst

iceland-sattelite22Hydrographers in South Iceland believe the flooding caused by melted water running off the Eyjafjallajokull glacier has passed its peak. The lack of icebergs in the flood water indicates that the volcanio is not particularly big. It is nonetheless much more energetic than the recent eruption at Fimmvorduhals.

The new volcano is gushing lava from a two kilometre trench and a ten mile no fly zone is in place. As ash and steam spread with the wind flights are expected to be cancelled in Norway, and even Russia, as early as this evening.

Engineers hurriedly broke the raised Route 1 highway in three places to allow the water to pass freely and protect bridges. The effort appears to be paying off with all water still flowing under bridges instead of over them. 700 people have been evacuated and feared damage to farmland has hopefully been avoided – including at Iceland’s biggest grain farm.

The floods were expected to be short and sharp, because the volcano will have melted the ice very quickly, at which time the flow of water will stop abruptly. It is thought the peak has now been reached and flooding may already have started subsiding.

Photo: Tumi Gudmundsson

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