Greinasafni: Icelandic Times
Eyjafjallajökull – Fimmvörðuháls – Þórsmörk
From Dept. of Civil Protection and Emergency Management
The Civil Protection authorities prepare for natural hazards in Iceland. The countryside’s beauty is legendary but it is also a volatile land.

See video here ( This is a volcano eruption in Iceland, a month before the big eruption in 2010. This is Fimmvörðuháls just close by Eyjafjallajokull the famous one. The airplane is a Jodel D-117 TF-REX. This trip I was flying a C-170 with a photographer (Haukur) but I had to take video as well, the scenery was so dramatic. At somepoint no-one was flying the airplane :)
The Fimmvörðuháls eruption attracted people from many nations. It started on March 20th 2010 and lasted three weeks in a mountain pass between two glaciers, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull. Through this mountain pass is a popular hiking path 22 km. long and 988 meters high to the Thorsmörk nature reserve. Last summer, ash and tephra covered some of the path and made hiking difficult at times.
This hiking path is known for sudden and extreme weather changes. At times there were hundreds of people at the site during the volcanic eruption.  This made the rescue, relief and security effort during the eruption more difficult, since some people did not wear proper clothing for the cold and high altitude.
Lava now covers parts of the old hiking path and a new path has been made in order to protect the newly formed craters that are still hot from the magma underneath. The two craters have been given names from the old Norse gods. The bigger crater was given the name Magni and the smaller is Móði, both names of sons of Thor, the god of Thunder.
Whilst the hiking trail is open, the track for 4WD vehicles up the pass that runs from Skógar to Fimmvörðuháls remains closed for any vehicles.

The Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano erupted on 14th April. Glacial floods followed the eruption and ran into the Markarfljot and Svaðbælis rivers, damaging roads and protective floodwalls. Ash and tephra spread over vast areas. Eyjafjallajökull has been a restricted area since the beginning of the eruption, except for scientists.
Whilst there has been no volcanic activity in the Eyjafjallajökull volcano since June, scientists are closely monitoring it and the Civil Protection is still on alert since earlier eruptions in the glacier (1821-23 and 1612) started again after short breaks.

Thorsmörk is a nature reserve and a popular destination for hikers and campers, especially during the summer. The road to Thorsmörk was damaged by floods from the Eyjafjallajökull glacier that came down the Gígjökull glacier during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.  The Soil Conservation Service has made an effort to restore the ash-covered land and in late summer, green and lush vegetation emerged. The ash appears to be a good fertilizer. Tourists also started to revisit the area again. The Road Administration repaired and reopened the road to Thorsmörk in early June, but it is only suitable for 4WD vehicles.
Enjoying your trip
Hiking this area can be a very rewarding experience and is enjoyed by thousands each year - especially for those who enjoy the rugged beauty and spectacular views. It is best visited from late May to September. It is a challenging environment and visitors should enter it prepared with proper clothing, boots, food supplies and phones. Bear in mind that a hike that may start in calm, +20°C sunshine can face sudden weather changes that see the temperature fall dramatically, with rain and a strong, cold wind. Whilst such weather can be equally rewarding, it can be dangerous for anyone unprepared for it.

Text Box:
Should you face a situation where you need help, the Emergency number is 112
We hope you never need it, but if you do, we are here to help.

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