EFLA played a leading role in compiling an evacuation plan for Central South Iceland in cooperation with the Icelandic Civil Protection Department, two other engineering firms and a number of state institutions.


Home to some 2,000 inhabitants and 500 summer cottages, the area is designated as prone to risk due to the presence of two active volcanoes, the sub-glacial Katla and the glaciated cone Eyjafjallajökull, both of which have erupted on a number of occasions during the past centuries.


Due to the contact between magma and ice, these eruptions produce large quantities of ash and pumice, as well as medium-sized to very large meltwater floods with discharges of up to 200,000-300,000 cubic metres per second.


An eruption of Eyjafjallajökull began on March 21, 2010, expelling lava from a 600 m-long volcanic fissure on the ice-free Fimmvörðuháls ridge connecting the eastern flanks of the volcano to the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap, where Katla lies beneath the ice.


The evacuation plan for an Eyjafjallajökull eruption was put into action immediately and proved to work very well. Residents were able to return to their homes within one or two days, as the eruption was not considered liable to cause any harm as long as it remained in its then-current mode.


These photographs of the eruption were taken by EFLA Geotechnical Team member This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Click images to enlarge.