Warning - Glacial outburst from Vatnajökull - Flood to reach populated areas by midday
Glacial outburst has begun in Vatnajökull glacier. Could cause overflowing in Skaftá river causing road F208 between Vík and Eldgjá canyon to close. Travellers are also advised to stay away from Skaftárjökull, Tungnárjökull and Síðujökull glaciers.
The first signs of the approaching Skaftá glacier river flood have been detected at the Icelandic Met Office measuring station at Sveinstindur. Flood water is expected to reach the first inhabited areas around midday today.
Measurements already reveal initial flood water flows of around 430 m3/s (almost four times more than usual flow volumes). According to IMO’s Snorri Zóphóniasson, the height of the flood can be expected on Saturday morning.
Zóphóniasson expects the start of the flood to reach inhabited areas in the Skaftá river valley around midday today and warns than roads adjacent to river banks may experience flooding.
The flood water contains potentially harmful hydrogen dioxide and crevasses may quickly appear around the eastern cauldron, from which the water is flowing.
Tourists are strongly advised to keep away from the Skaftárjökull, Tungnárjökull and Síðujökull glaciers while the flood is under way.