A massive landslide has fallen in western Iceland from a mountain called Fagraskógarfjall. This landslide is estimated to be 2 km wide and 1,5 km long at earlier measurements. I don’t know yet much material did push forward in this landslide but the amount is considerable. This landslide blocked a nearby river and a small lake is currently forming. It is expected that the river is going to form a new pathway past this landslide in next few hours to days. This might be largest landslide or among the largest landslides in Iceland since the year 1000.
Images, maps and videos on Icelandic News media (all text and interviews are in Icelandic and no English text available)
„Með stærstu skriðuföllum eftir landnám“ (Rúv.is, video)
Stór grjótskriða stíflar Hítará (Rúv.is, image, audio interview in Icelandic)
Drónamyndir úr Hítardal (Rúv.is, video)
Breytir landslaginu í Hítardal (Rúv.is, image, embedded facebook video)
„Þetta er bein afleiðing af þessum miklu rigningum“ (Vísir.is, image, video)
Drónamyndband frá skriðunni í Hítárdal (Vísir.is, video)
Ekki fyrirboði fyrir fleiri skriðum (Rúv.is, map)
Article updated at 19:11 UTC on 8-Juli-2018. Added new news item in Icelandic.
There is now a increased risk of landslide in Ketilbjörg cliff. The area that is about to fall of is extremely dangerous, tourist have been seen going out on the part of the cliff that is about to break off. This cliff that is breaking off might fall into the coast below at any time without warning. Such thing has happened in popular tourist locations.
If you are travelling in this area of Iceland do not go out on this cliff. It is extremely dangerous since it can go loose without warning. If they have closed the area (as they say in the news that has been done), respect that closure.
Icelandic news – in Icelandic
Sprungan í Ketubjörgum stækkar (Rúv.is, Icelandic, old picture)
Lítur út fyrir að geta hrunið á hverri stundu (mbl.is, Icelandic, new picture)
Update 1: New image of the cliff that is about to break off can be found here in this news from Rúv. Other new cracks have also seen forming in the same area.
Article updated at 04:12 UTC on 25-July-2015.
There is currently a high risk of rock collapse in Ketilbjörg cliffs in north-west Iceland. This area is located north of Sauðárkrókur town. The area is now extremely dangerous due to the fact that the rock can fall of it’s location without warning. This are big rocks that are breaking off and falling into the coastline, many of them having the size of small houses or cars. If people travel to this area they should not go to the edge where cracks are in the ground. Doing so puts your life at risk.
Enn hrynur úr Ketubjörgum (Rúv.is, Images, Icelandic)
It was noticed today that a landslide took place in Dyrhólaey island. This landslide is not big, but it cut a hiking path that goes close to the cliff edge in this area. Most of the rock in the island appears to be unstable according to the news today, but that instability is hard to see on the surface. In 2012 four people fell off that cliff, all survived the 40 meter drop in this location when they did accidentally step over the cliff edge.
Icelandic news and images (all text is in Icelandic)
Skriða tók með sér gönguslóða í Dyrhólaey (Rúv.is, images, Icelandic)
Stór skriða féll í Dyrhólaey: „Stígurinn sem alltaf er genginn liggur bara beint út þetta“ (Vísir.is, Icelandic, images)
Stórt skarð í stígnum (mbl.is, Icelandic, images)
Due to risk of landslide a viewing area in northern Skagafjörður has been closed. Tip of a cliff in the area is about to break off at any time and without warning and there appears to be considerable area getting ready to go forward into the coast line below. Please see attached news for pictures.
Útsýnisstað lokað vegna öryggisástæðna (Vísir.is, Pictures)
Hættulegar sprungur í Ketubjörgum (Skagafjörður.is, images)
Lokuðu vinsælum útsýnisstað í Skagafirði (Rúv.is, Images)
Over the past few days scientists from Icelandic Meteorological Office and University of Iceland, geology department have been studying the massive landslide in Askja volcano. The area is considered unstable as is and might remain unstable for the next year and even longer. Risk of new landslide in Askja is not higher now than normal, but even so the walking paths around Askja lake are going to remain closed due to changes that took place when the flood wave hit the volcanic crater coastline following the landslide.
It remains unclear why this landslide took place. It does not seem that wet soil is the reason for this, as was originally thought. Some speculation have been that this might be due to increased hydrothermal (hot springs) activity in Askja volcano. Nothing has yet been proven on what did cause this large landslide. There have also been news items that a earlier landslide around the same size might have taken place in Askja volcano in the years 1902 to 1960 (exact date is not known). Current size estimates are that the landslide is around 50 million cubic meters in size and around 700 meters wide at the top. More research is going to give more details on this landslide in the future. The seismic signal and following harmonic tremor that was detected following this landslide has a detailed analyse here on Icelandic Meteorological Office website.
If more landslides do happen in Askja volcano I am going to publish that information soon as possible. If more information is going to be published I am going to post them soon as possible.
Donations: Please remember to donate to support my work. Due to my move to Iceland in December I have updated the information here. Please take a note of the changes that are going to take place in January 2015. Thanks for the support.
Article updated at 00:10 UTC on 26-July-2014.
This is a short update on Askja volcano landslide.
Travel ban is still in effect to Askja volcano. Parts of it are going to be lifted later today or tomorrow, but access to Askja lake is going to remain forbidden at least until Friday, after estimates on risk of new landslides have been performed by Icelandic Meteorological Office and Civil Protection in Iceland (Almannavarnir). Risk of new landslides taking place in this area remains and might remain for many months to come. It is now estimated that 50 to 60 million cubic meters of material did collapse down into Askja lake, but with only part of the material ending up into the lake it self. New estimates on the flood waves that where created now put them around 50 meters high, there was also not one wave that took place, but it is now estimated that four waves took place once the landslide hit the water.
Hiking paths to Askja volcano and Víti have been closed due landslide risk in the area around Askja lake. Please respect this closure since this area is now highly unstable and more landslides might fall without warning.
Update 1: The landslide (or rock slide as IMO calls this) is now estimated to be around 1 km wide. The tsunami waves that followed this landslide in Askja lake are now estimated to have been around 73 meters high (around Hallgrímskirkja church high). The area remains closed and is now regarded as highly unstable. Risk of new landslides in this area remains high at current time. The amount of soil that did just go into Askja lake is estimated to have been around 24 million cubic meters, with the total amount much higher (this is unconfirmed number).
I will post more information as more is known what happened.
Icelandic news of this
„Bráðabani“ að fara niður að vatninu (mbl.is)
Vígalegur mökkur steig til himins (mbl.is, pictures)
Lukka að þetta gerist um miðnætti (Rúv.is)
Svona lítur Askja út í dag – Myndband (Rúv.is, video of Askja today)
Askja – fyrir og eftir berghlaupið (Rúv.is, this are before and after images of Askja)
Berghlaupið í Öskju eitt það stærsta (Rúv.is, new video of Askja area)
Donations: Please remember to donate to support my work (and keep me away from starving). I will move back to Iceland in December (see here). Thanks for the support.
Article updated at 13:55 UTC.
Article updated at 16:01 UTC.
Article updated at 22:16 UTC.
Article updated at 22:18 UTC.
According to Icelandic Meteorological Office, a large landslide fell yesterday (22-July-2014) around midnight in Askja volcano, the landslide did go into Askja lake creating a flood wave that was 100 to 200 meters high. It did reach the other end of the crater lake and did flow over its edge, some water did go into Víti crater. This landslide took place in south part of the Askja lake crater (best information I have at the moment). Harmonic tremor was detected following this events, it was recorded for 20 minutes according to news reports (no image since Askja harmonic tremor plot image is missing in IMO website).
A cloud was seen following this landslide, it is not clear if it was steam or just loose dirt material moving up into the air. Early estimates into this landslide are that around 24 million cubic meters of material did come down with this landslide, part of it ending in Askja lake and raising the water levels in Askja lake some two meters (early estimates). Until this matter has been checked by scientist and Almannavarnir in Iceland, all traffic to Askja volcano is forbidden. There is also a risk of more landslides taking place in Askja volcano, since the soil where the landslide took place might not have settled yet. It is highly dangerous to go there under the current conditions and I urge anyone not to go there due to how dangerous this area now is.
Update 1: Image of the landslide can be found here.
I am going to post more information about this once I have more details on this event.
Icelandic news on this
Öll umferð bönnuð um Öskju eftir gríðarlega stóra skriðu (DV.is)
Umferð um Öskju bönnuð eftir stóra skriðu (Rúv.is)
Stór skriða féll í Öskjuvatn (Mbl.is)
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Article updated at 00:34 UTC on 23-July-2014.
Yesterday (1-June-2014) a 300 meter wide landslide fell in east Iceland. This landslide did create minor damage for the nearby farm. The total damage is so far 250.000 ISK (1.615,93€, 1.312,13 GBP current exchange rate). The farmer thinks that at least one sheep was lost under the landslide, it is not told of any lambs where lost, 500 poles for fences where also lost under the landslide. This farmer makes them for sale. Four horses did safe them by jumping over a fence when the landslide got close to them.
The reason for this landslide is melting of snow the mountain above the farm. Summer melt has now started in Iceland and for the past few days have been warm in Iceland with temperature going up to 18C (and above) at locations. There has not been a lot of rainfall in Iceland for the past few days.
Icelandic news of this landslide
Aurskriða féll í leysingum í Fljótsdal (Rúv.is, Icelandic, Picture)
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According to Rúv News an landslide fell in East Iceland last week (best guess). This appears to be an large landslide. It did closed down an road close to two abandoned farms in the nearby area. This landslide appears to have taken place due to heavy snow and spring melt in this area. I don’t know if there is any risk of more such landslides going to take place at this area, there is an risk of new landslides in this same area for now, at least that is my best educated guess.
Pictures of this landslide can be found here on Rúv News. All the text in that news is in Icelandic.
Post updated at 23:46 UTC.
Post updated at 23:48 UTC.
Post updated at 02:32 UTC on 23-April-2014.