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This Ain’t Your Average Eddie Van Halen Eruption

This post has very little to do with audio, but I’ve been getting so many questions about the volcano in Iceland that I thought I’d share what I know.

There’s been a lot going on for the last month or so, but it wasn’t until this week that news outlets in English have been covering it, so you can find more about it on the NY Times and Huff Post for instance.

But I’m sure you’d rather hear it from your friendly neighborhood audio blogger…

WTF Is Going On?!?!

Here’s my informal, unofficial, and highly unsanctioned report.

I am neither a journalist nor a particularly enthusiastic fact-checker, but I believe what my mom tells me, so that’s what you get.

Grindavík (population 3,400) has been evacuated due to the threat of a volcano erupting underneath and swallowing it whole.

Grindavík is about a 30-minute drive from my hometown of Hafnarfjörður.

Or it used to be until they closed that road because the thousands of earthquakes got so bad they split that road in half. It’s usually not a good idea to drive on a road that has active magma bubbling underneath.

And yes, my parents and family are safe. Thanks for asking.

There’s really no best-case scenario here, as it’s not a matter of if the volcano erupts. It’s a matter of when.

And where it erupts will dictate the varying degrees of “Oh Fuck!” that we have to respond to.

The Three Shitty Scenarios of Having Volcanic Neighbors

The first shitty scenario is that the magma bursts to the surface in the middle of Grindavík, probably in the middle of the golf course, on the Par 4 hole where I got an Eagle for the only time in my life.

That will essentially displace the entire population of the town, and it will cause a devastating loss of property and a lasting negative economic impact.

I’m not a geologist, so I don’t know the likelihood of that happening, but considering that we’ve evacuated the entire town and it’s illegal to go near it without supervision, I’d say the risks are serious.

The second scenario that will suck is if the volcano takes out the power plant nearby and demolishes the Blue Lagoon.

That means no hot water for the neighboring towns, which will wipe out one of our most popular tourist attractions. Cold showers and the Wimhof method for the neighboring Vikings, and no white dirt on your face if you’re a tourist.

Awful but survivable. I believe we have backup power in place, and the Blue Lagoon is a tourist trap that’s too expensive anyway.

The third potential ending to the eventual disaster movie starring The Rock is if it erupts explosively in contact with the ocean.

Tagline: “Too Close to Home”

That means a sequel to the 2010 disaster movie Eyjafjallajökull all over again.

Ash will explode into the atmosphere, air travel around Europe might be seriously compromised, and every TV reporter around the world will hate us once again for needing to say Icelandic names out loud.

If you thought “Eyjafjallajökull” was complicated (it honestly rolls off the tongue quite easily IMHO), then you’re gonna hate “Sundhnjúkagígaröð.”

You’re welcome Reuters!

Of course, we could have a miraculous act of god where the volcano erupts in a safe area, and the magma flows nicely around anything important, but we’re all a bunch of Heathens who believe in Óðinn and Þór so it’s unlikely…

Besides, it’s not like any of this is surprising. The lava field is your playground as a kid.

We literally built our entire society on top of cooled lava rock so there was abundant evidence of the risks all around us.

But we’re Icelandic.

Þetta reddast.




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