Saturday, May 5, 2018

ISLANDS source of fire

ISLANDS source of fire

WE GET TO the south side, where there are gaps that later gave rise to land just off the coast. We follow a line along the excavation through the confines of dust (tephra) on Heimaey, the main island in the Westman Islands, on the south coast of Iceland. Rounded the corner, we see things puih poking around the corner. It is a terraced roof.

The place is nicknamed "Pompei of the North." A sign bearing the name of the family who lived here before January 23, 1973, when the fracture Vestmannaeyjar devastated port city. Fortunately, sedan fleet anchored,
when molten lava to spread further, evacuation efforts amounted to 5300 lives could be implemented in a matter of hours. Arni tells us how his friend Johann Johanson recalled that eruption. "He was 12 years old when it happened. On the day of the evacuation, the mother forced the family to flee to finish breakfast before the ship. Ah, the Iceland! Sure eruptions can wait while you finish oatmeal.

The eruption formed a new mountain and devastated 300 homes. Battalion seek vessels using stem the lava tube, and presumably their efforts succeed. Lava flows caught before reaching the port,
although many houses collapsed, unable to resist his thick ash.

When I first came here in the summer of 1973, a new eruption ended, the ash still covered the slopes. Yet there are people who come back, but the workers and international volunteers have cleared the whole town. 

The announcement echoed in Reykjavik Airport warned travelers Heimaey if you want to walk on the black lava to use anti-fire footwear. At that time, local tour guide took me to a house two-thirds share of ash buried. With great difficulty we climbed to reach the upstairs window, broke through the bedroom.  "This is the door leading downstairs," he said, and we opened it. Hot humid air that wafted. Vapor granules that meet the ceiling fell. He shut the door.

Now, 39 years later, we enjoyed lunch at the cafe Kro, where tourists from Reykjavik for the weekend and watch the movie-documentary about the history of past eruptions. To me, it seemed just yesterday.

In 1974, local residents take advantage of lava to warm up the whole town had just recovered. Now, meet the needs of geothermal heat and hot water for 92% of the building. A first-time travelers to Reykjavik told me after he defecated in the toilet:  "One of the taps were connected to the glacier and the other to hell." 

Reykjavik also warms most streets and sidewalks. In 1980, geothermal power plant was built 47 km on the Reykjanes peninsula. Later this became the Blue lagoon spa, superior tourist-packed with people who like to soak in mineral water colored cobalt. But geothermal power, which I think is the most secure new energy, even sparked debate. After the economic crisis in 2008, when the currency kronur dropped by 76% against the dollar, the leaders of this country too willing-will, according to some people trade two Icelandic natural resources, fish and energy. The third source is the natural scenery that attracts tourists. And it sparked controversy.

On the way back to our friend's cottage, I read the English-language biweekly tabloid, Reykjavik Grapevine, yagn contains letters to the debate surrounding the geothermal plant. Merke involved debate among other singers Björk and Ross Beaty, CEO of Magma Energy Corp., Company-owned geothermal Canada. The company has signed a contract with the government, according to Beaty, will be very profitable. Bjork said the geothermal landscape will hurt, and gave off a lot of volcanic gases into the air. I remember Omar saying about geothermal cracks which be built in the north. That's our next goal.


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