2. Risk assessment information
Danger zone and the Restricted area due to seismic activity in Bárðarbunga and volcanic eruption in Holuhraun lava field:
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Definition of the danger zone and the restricted area together with risk assessment information (see also risk maps below)
|The definition of the danger zone and the restricted area is made in relation to the seismic and volcanic activity in Bardarbunga in Vatnajökull Glacier and the volcanic eruption in Holuhraun.(a translated and edited summary from a news announcement in Icelandic of 14.10.2014)|
|On the basis of a recent risk assessment of The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) and The Institute of Earth Science (IES) with the aspect towards gas pollution from the volcanic eruption in Holuhraun and possible explosive volcanic eruption followed by ashfall and glacial flooding from Dyngjujökull glacier or Bardarbunga in Vatnajökull glacier the Civil Protection has decided the following definitions of the restricted and the danger areas.Restricted areaBecause of gas pollution from the volcanic eruption in Holuhraun traffic is limited in 25 km (~15.5 mi) distance from the main erupting crater. According to the IMO risk assessment there is approx. 90% probability that within this area there can occur hazardous or dangerous SO2 pollution. Besides because of a possible glacial flood traffic shall be limited on driving tracks that are located in the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum possible flood channel. There is considerable danger of substantial ashfall (>10 cm ; ~4 inches) within the restricted area if a volcanic eruption starts in Dyngjujökull glacier.
New access rules came into force parallel with the announcement of a redefined restricted area. The restricted area is defined by co-ordinates as shown on Map 1 – Restricted area and danger zone (see below).Danger zoneThe danger zone is defined as the area where there is about 50% probability that unhealthy pollution can occur, i.e. in about 60 km (~ 37 mi) distance from the volcanic eruption area in Holuhraun.
The riverbeds and flood channels of following rivers are within the danger zone: Skjálfandafljót, Kaldakvísl, Sveðja, Sylgja and Tungnaá. The greatest probability is however that a glacial flood from Bardarbunga would be channeled towards north to the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum but it can not be excluded that a glacial flood could be diverted to one or more of the 5 rivers mentioned above.
Within the danger zone there is the risk that you encounter great ashfall (>5 cm) in case of a volcanic eruption in the Vatnajökull glacier or his offspring Dyngjujökull glacier.
Traffic in the danger zone is not prohibited but travellers are encouraged to be extraordinarly vigilant and monitor regularily possible alert messages from the Civil Protection that might be sent out to mobile phones or via radio broadcast.
It is advised that you leave your travel plans with someone that could pass your information to the relevant authorities if sudden changes in the volcanic activity and imminent danger in the area should make this necessary *)
The closer you approach the borders of the restricted area the higher probability it is to encounter high (SO2) gas pollution and great ashfall if a volcanic eruption occurs in the Dyngjujökull glacier.
Gas dispersion forecasts are made the Icelandic Met Office:
http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/text/gas/ (2 day forecast)
http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/gas-model/ (Trial gas dispersion model).Please note:Gas pollution – Use sulphurdioxide (SO2) gasmasks and SO2 gasmeters that give alarm if the concentration of SO2 in the air becomes too high.
If high gas peaks occur you are encouraged to seek refuge inside your vehicle (or inside a mountain hut if nearby).Ashfall – can occur without notice so it can become impossible for you to orient or find your way .If you are outside the hazard areas where there is a probability of floods you are encouraged to stay where you are and communicate your location (112) In such a situation dust masks and tight goggles might be of help to you.Lightnings – can be expected in ashfall. (Stay inside you vehicle!)Glacial floods – If you receive an announcement about a volcanic eruption in a glacier it is very important to abandon the flood area immediately.
Do not cross expected flood areas. Try to aqquire information as far as possible (112) about the location of the eruption and if you are in a safe zone or not.Considering above information: Do not go far away from your vehicle if travelling in the danger zone!Additional information: *)Please also note the 112 Iceland app in this context: http://www.safetravel.is/112-iceland-app/ ) and also general Iceland travel information: http://www.safetravel.is/Volcanic gas hazard – If concentrations of gases exceed the limits given by the Administration of occipational Safety and Health in Iceland work is prohibited: http://english.hi.is/files/bryndjo/volcanic_gas_hazard.pdfGeneral information in English about volcanic hazards: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/index.php