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Volcano clean-up continues with success in Iceland

27th May 2011 Print

Iceland has begun its clean up in the area around the Grimsvotn volcano in the south of the country.

Volcanic activity at Grimsvotn has decreased rapidly since the eruption on Saturday evening and residents from across Iceland are now pitching in to help clear the ash.

Most of the ejected ash fell in a small area south and southeast of the volcano, between the town of Vik and Skaftafell National Park. The small village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur was hardest hit but locals expect to be able to resume life as usual in a matter of days.

Iceland’s Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, Katrin Juliusdottir, has travelled with a team of ministry staff to personally help with the clean up. She comments:  “It is very clear that what is really needed right now is people on the scene, helping to clean up – so that is exactly what we’ve decided to do. We are used to dealing with this kind of situation here in Iceland, and there is a overwhelming support from around the country.”

The majority of Iceland was unaffected by the volcanic ash and all major roads in the country are open – meaning tourists in Iceland can even travel to the affected area to see the effects of the eruption first hand.

The clean up is being orchestrated in anticipation of a busy summer in the region.  Grimsvotn volcano is located under the Vatnajokull glacier in the Vatnajokull National Park – the biggest national park in Europe.  The area is particularly popular in the summer with a number of operators running hiking and mountain biking trips.

Icelanders remain optimistic that the volcano will have a positive effect on tourism to the region, just as it has for the nearby Eyjafjallajokul, which gained notoriety last year.

“The situation is much better than we anticipated. It was completely black with ash here on Sunday, but now the colour is coming back into the forest and the birds have started to sing,” says Gudmundur Ogmundsson, a ranger at the national park.

For more information and further updates on the volcano, as well as live webcams, please visit: 

For more details about visiting Iceland, please visit:

You can also see web cameras, which show Reykjavik life continuing as normal at: