Iceland travel: What is happening with the volcanic eruption?
Iceland, the stunning country built on volcanic rock, has entered an alert state with a full evacuation of the Grindavík coast. The past weekend of the 10th to 12th of November, the earthquakes felt through weeks before intensified creating an emergency state for Iceland. Experts confirm the big possibility of a lava eruption, however they cannot predict with certainty where it will surface. Icelandic authorities continue to monitor the seismic activity, but they affirm that an eruption is imminent.
What does this mean if I have a trip planned?
The biggest airport in Iceland is the Keflavik International Airport, which is currently closed at least until November 30th. This means, there are no flights coming in or out of the country, and if you already have a ticket, you should contact your airline to get information about refunds or rescheduling.
In the near vicinity of the potential eruption site is the iconic tourist attraction, the Blue Lagoon, which is why all their facilities have also closed for the time being, including the Silica Hotel, Retreat Spa, Retreat Hotel, and the Lava and Moss restaurants. This also means that most of the remote Iceland excursions into glaciers will be canceled or rescheduled until the country’s emergency state is officially lifted.
What should I do if I am already in Iceland as a tourist?
Iceland is a relatively small country so it will probably not have an embassy for every country, but it should at least have a consulate. As a first step, contacting your consulate could provide you with a lot of answers and perhaps even a plan on how to proceed. Nevertheless, you should also be aware of the location for the next embassy for your country, could be Ireland, Scotland, etc.
It is very important that you also follow everything that the local authorities suggest and their own evacuation and emergency policies. They know their natural circumstances better and will know how to keep safe from possible disasters. And last, panic always complicates procedures, however it is normal to feel scared, just trust the Icelandic authorities and follow their protocols.
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