Glacial flooding in Iceland


Thanks to photographer Eggert Johannesson, who shot this impressive drone video yesterday, you can see how dark and muddy the Skafta River, South Iceland, looks these days during the glacial flood that began Sept. 1. In the video you can see the old bridge over the river, which has almost gone under water.

The flooding is currently on the wane. The maximum discharge at Mount Sveinstindur was about 1,500 m3 per second Tuesday morning, according to Einar Hjørleifsson, a natural hazards specialist at the Meteorological Office of Iceland. According to the latest data from the Meteorological Office, released at 8:30 a.m., the current discharge in Sveinstindur is less than 600 m3 per second.

It will take some time before the river’s discharge reaches equilibrium, and floodwaters are expected to continue to spread into the lowlands in the coming days.

Gisli Halldór Magnusson, a farmer from Ytri-Ásar, is not too concerned about the effects of this flood, but he tells Morgunblaðið that with large floods like the one in 2015, the clay and mud left on vegetated land can create a huge danger for cattle as well as damaging vegetation.

The mud, he said, is so thick that animals often get stuck in it.

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