Icelanders race to repair damage after volcano damage


The lava spewed out from a new volcanic fissure on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula in the country’s southwest.

It cut the supply of hot water, which is also used to heat houses, in the southern part of the peninsula, known as Sudurnes, home to some 28,000 inhabitants.

Dramatic images showed lava flowing over a road leading to Iceland’s famed Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, which had been evacuated, and the flow also crossed over a key water pipe.

“The plan is to fix the problem hopefully in the next few hours,” Hjordis Gudmundsdottir, spokeswoman for Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, told AFP Friday.

“It will take a few hours to put the hot water back in the system.”

In the meantime, schools, public pools and sports facilities in the region were closed on Friday, she added.

Electricity is still working, but the authorities are urging people in the region to limit consumption.

This was the third eruption since December, in the same area as two previous ones, on Dec 18 and the second on Jan 14, near the fishing village of Grindavik.

The 4,000 residents of Grindavik had to be evacuated on Nov 11 after hundreds of earthquakes damaged buildings and opened up huge cracks in roads, shrouding the village’s future in doubt.

The eruptions were some 40km southwest of the capital Reykjavik.

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