1B.1 Volcanic alert warnings to the public; experience from volcanic eruptions in Iceland

Monday, 24 January 2011: 1:30 PM
607 (Washington State Convention Center)
Sigrún Karlsdóttir, Icelandic Meteorological Office, Reykjavík, Iceland; and H. Pétursson and V. Reynisson
Manuscript (71.7 kB)

Eruptions in sub-glacial volcanoes are a threat to humans and live-stock, not only due to ash emission but also due to glacial outburst. In Iceland a large part of the active volcanoes are sub-glacial and the area around Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull, is especially vulnerable as the area just downhill of the glaciers is inhabited by farms and small villages. Hence, early warnings to the public in the area is crucial and evacuations are necessary due to glacial outburst. Ash dispersion is as well dangerous, as ash which is composed of among others fluorine, can be lethal to live-stock and may cause problems to humans especially those affected by lung and heart diseases. Ash dispersion forecast with fine resolution models, is a tool that might be used to mitigate these effects. In calm periods of the eruption or at its end, ash resuspension can be a great problem.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) works closely with the Civil Protection Department of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police (CPD), with the aim to alert and inform the public about the imminent threat of volcanic eruptions or during erupting phase.

In the paper, this the role of IMO will be discussed and how it cooperates with the CPD.

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