The 25 km long crater row called Lakagigar was created
during a relatively short, intensive, and catastrophic eruption between the 8th of June 1783 and February 1874. It was among the
biggest and poisonous lava eruptions of the earth during historical times. It
created two vast lava fields with a total area of 565 km², and the total volume of tephra
emitted was estimated to have been 12,3 km³. The consequences were enormous. Between 53% and 82%
of the domestic animals and 20% of the human population perished as a result.
As Iceland was
under Danish rule at
the time, it was debated in the Danish parliament to evacuate the remaining 40.000
Icelanders, and find them new homes in Jutland, but
the Icelanders would hear nothing of that.
Most of the craters are now covered with Woolly Fringe Moss and the landscape is
to say the least, picturesque. The crater area was proclaimed inviolate in 1971. The Bus Company
Kynnisferdir offers daily tours to the Laki area from the hamlet
Kirkjubaejarklaustur and the
National Park Skaftafell during summer.
From the crossroads of
road #1 40 km <Laki> Klaustur
information on road conditions, see
www.road.is or call
the Road Administration Information Line (+354) 1777
HIGHLAND ICELAND SAGA