Extreme Wind Storm Hits Iceland, Grounding All Flights And Causing Havoc

A severe wind storm hit Reykjavík and the south-west parts of the country last night, causing the Icelandic Meteorological Office to issue an orange alert as well as all domestic and international flights to be grounded during the night and early morning hours. Planes arriving in Iceland were not allowed to dock with the terminal building and passengers had to wait patiently on their aircraft until the airport authority was sufficiently satisfied that the worst of the storm had passed. Wind speeds in Keflavík exceeded 40 m/s (90 mph) during the early morning hours.

As of right now (11:55 AM local time) international flights have resumed, but with many hours of delay. Travelers are asked to show patience and expect more delays (check flights here).

The wind was felt greatly in the capital region, so much so that a hot tub flew off the thirteenth floor balcony of an apartment building in the suburb of Kópavogur and landed on the grounds of a playschool across the road. The incident occurred at 7:00 AM, luckily no one was injured.

Orange and yellow alerts across large parts of the country.

Photo credit: Icelandic Meteorological Office

A yellow alert has been issued in other parts of the country, such as the south of Iceland, the Westfjords, Southeast Iceland as well as Faxaflói and Breiðafjörður bays. Accompanying these extreme winds is heavy rainfall, as well slippery ice on the roads. The Iceland Met Office and local police authorities have asked people to take extreme caution while travelling and make sure to check the weather forecast before driving out into the countryside.

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