From road 426, in the west of Thorbjörn mountain, you can see the lava that this Monday buried the main entrance road in Grindavík and that extends across the entire plain located to the north of the urban area. Volcanic activity has reduced, but the main fissure remains active, little by little feeding the magmatic tongue that is next to the fishing village.
The work to protect Grindavík continues, now especially on the western flank, since the wash is two hundred meters from the road where we are and the houses to the northwest. Escorted by the police and rescue teams, a group of journalists enters the north of Grindavík for a few moments – without getting out of the vehicle – and we witness the work that has been done in the first twenty-four hours of the eruption to save the population.
Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir confirms this from Reykjavík after an emergency meeting of the national government: “Walls will continue to be built.” The fortifications have prevented a major disaster, rerouting the main lava spit. However, the defensive line has not been useful in stopping the fissures that have opened within its boundaries. A second fissure that was active for twelve hours destroyed three homes in the northeast of the town, which have been left in ashes.
The priority of the Icelandic Executive, with respect to the evacuated residents, is to find solutions for the housing crisis that some of them suffer. Since November 10, many evacuees have lived in the homes of friends and family, or in second homes. Uncertainty about the future complicates decision-making, since most want to think that one day they will return. However, the risk in Grindavík is not only volcanic, but the soil conditions – full of cracks and deep holes – and seismic activity represent an added danger and one more unknown for the future of this community.