Iceland PM speaks on Grindavik evacuation after volcano eruption: “It is just the norm for us”

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I think it’s not the new Norm it’s just the norm for us icelanders we have evacuated the whole town 50 years ago in West man Islands we have had several cases of volcanic eruptions uh always because this is just part of who we are and the country we

Live in so uh obviously this is not this is something that uh we are relatively used to but it’s always difficult we have a very clear overview of uh air quality uh there is no danger anywhere now in populated places obviously there are uh still some things that need to be

Sold we have been buying flats for the residents so so now we actually have 70 flats that people can move into before Christmas which is the most people who are in most dire need of housing uh we will continue that work and we will also propose that the support the housing

Support that the parliament agreed upon in November uh will be prolonged uh the whole winter really because we have uh many families in gr who simply want to continue with their children in schools and finish the winter wherever they are situated right now so so we are continuing our support and continuing to

Find more housing adequate housing because obviously with the housing market in Iceland which was uh not easily accessible before uh it creates an extra pressure when we have 4,000 people and of course the feelings are very mixed very mixed feelings for the people of GIC now when we are

Approaching Christmas but I think also um what we are doing is trying to build all our decisions on best available science data we cannot have all the answers uh that is just the nature of uh the situation

Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir addressed the issues facing the 4,000 inhabitants evacuated from the fishing town of Grindavik in November after weeks of consistent volcanic eruptions and intense seismic activity.

“It is just the norm for us Icelanders,” Jakobsdottir said. “We have evacuated a whole town 50 years ago in Westman Islands. We have had several cases of volcanic eruptions… this is just part of who we are and the country we live in.”

Regarding the housing situations of the evacuees, the Prime Minister said that the government is already working on a solution and will continue its efforts through the winter.

“We have been buying flats for the residents, so now we actually have 70 flats that people can move into before Christmas,” Jakobsdottir said.

Most recently in Grindavik, an eruption on Monday spewed lava and smoke more than 100 meters into the air.

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