All of Iceland stands braced for the hurricane-force storm that is expected to hit the country this evening. The Icelandic Meteorological Office has issued a warning about the imminent storm, anticipating winds of 160 km per hour (98 mph). The wind will be accompanied by snow and then sleet, when temperatures rise going into tomorrow.
The Icelandic Civil Protection warned people in South Iceland to remain indoors after 12 noon, and those in the Reykjavík area to stay inside after 17:00 this afternoon. The majority of shops and businesses will be closing early so that employees can get home safely in time. Schools will also be closing and parents have been requested to pick up their children by 16:00.
The National Police Commissioner has declared Iceland to be in a State of Uncertainty with regard to this storm. This means that authorities are aware of the situation, have alerted the public, and will be closely monitoring and assessing the level of danger as the storm progresses. Of particular importance for people’s safety in this storm is that they do not attempt to travel. Roads will be extremely hazardous due to winds and snow and negative visibility, and indeed the roads leading out of Reykjavík have been closed.
Rescue teams and emergency response authorities are currently on high alert. People have been encouraged to keep their mobile devices charged in case of a power outage. According to the Icelandic Met Office, this type of weather system only occurs every 10-20 years and should be taken very seriously.