Iceland volcano eruption: Reckless tourist narrowly escapes dying in lava flow

Sat, 12 Jun 2021, 12:49
12:49 PM | BY: T
Location of a tourist on the slope of the active cone of the Reykjanes eruption in Iceland, almost caught in lava flows (image: RUV webcam / Iceland Review)
Location of a tourist on the slope of the active cone of the Reykjanes eruption in Iceland, almost caught in lava flows (image: RUV webcam / Iceland Review)
A visitor to the main eruption site in Geldingadalir narrowly escaped a self-provoked catastrophe and cruel death by lava flow. Yesterday (11 June 2021) around noon, a person could be seen on the webcam approaching and presumably attempting to climb the side of the active cone, when a large surge of lava erupted from it and started to rapidly flow downhill towards him or her.
Fortunately, the tourist managed to ran away and the lava flows missed him or her, but it was clearly a very close call. The person must have had made the rather long way across older, already solidified parts of the lava flow field to finally approach and probably climb the active cone, which contains a small lava lake and rhythmically - typically every 10 minutes or so - erupts bubbling fountains and surges of lava that overflow its rims, even though these episodes have been becoming weaker and more rare in the past days.
The webcam recordings show how the person turns around, runs and falls, when he or she realized the imminent danger of the lava surge coming from just a few tens of meters uphill distance. Finally, the lava branches and spares the location of the person who manages to evacuate to safety afterwards.

Unfortunately, it seems that it was not an isolated case: especially since the convenient lookout, the hill just southeast of the cone, has been cut by fresh lava on 4 June and become inaccessible, several people trying to get a better and closer view have been seen venturing on the fresh lava flow field.
Dangers of the fresh lava flow field
Going onto the fresh lava surface is venturing onto very treacherous ground, and putting oneself into serious danger: even if the lava is already cool enough on the surface in many places and at first glance seems easy and safe to walked on, it is highly unstable ground essentially composed of glassy slabs and blocks of unstable lava.
Falling through the thin crusts into cavities underneath, stumbling and hurting oneself badly at the at lava slabs with knife-sharp edges is just one of the various risks involved. Others include getting into hotter-than anticipated areas, gas-becoming trapped in gas and steam pockets, or being surprised by new flows that can break out from tubes underneath, or fast-moving new surface flows. Accidents related to these hazards have frequently occurred on the lava flow fields of Kilauea on Hawai'i, but the presence of an active cone and the relatively small size of the area, the extreme dynamics of the Reykjanes eruption, only increase the risks.
People who ignore warning signs are calling for trouble, and unfortunately, the so-far generous attitude of authorities allowing and even facilitating access to the site, relying on common sense and easy-to-read warning signs, are due to change - thanks to the recklessness of a few ignorant people.

Watch the video here:


Source: Reykjanesausbruch: Abenteurer entkommt Lavaschwall mit knapper Not (Video) (Iceland Review, in German)

Previous news

Fri, 11 Jun 2021, 07:41
Our friend Ronny from Belgium just returned from Iceland. We present a small selection of his great video clips and photographs taken during 26 May-3 June 2021: Read all
Show more
Try our free app!
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Android | iOS version

More on VolcanoDiscovery

Why is there advertising on this site?
Support us - Help us upgrade our services!
We truly love working to bring you the latest volcano and earthquake data from around the world. Maintaining our website and our free apps does require, however, considerable time and resources.
We need financing to increase hard- and software capacity as well as support our editor team. We're aiming to achieve uninterrupted service wherever an earthquake or volcano eruption unfolds, and your donations can make it happen! Every donation will be highly appreciated. If you find the information useful and would like to support our team in integrating further features, write great content, and in upgrading our soft- and hardware, please make a donation (PayPal or Online credit card payment).

Planned features:
  • Improved multilanguage support
  • Tsunami alerts
  • Faster responsiveness
Thanks to your past donations, these features have been added recently:
  • Earthquake archive from 1900 onwards
  • Detailed quake stats
  • Additional seismic data sources
Download and Upgrade the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app to get one of the fastest seismic and volcano alerts online:
Android | IOS
Thank you!
Copyrights: VolcanoDiscovery and other sources as noted.
Use of material: Most texts and images, in particular photographs, on this website are protected by copyright. Further reproduction and use of without authorization is usually not consented. If you are not sure or need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.