Entries in Iceland (5)


Icelandic Girl Suing Government to Keep Her Own Name

Hemera/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- A teen in Iceland has filed a lawsuit against her government because for her entire life, she legally hasn't been allowed to use the name her mother gave her.

In Iceland, as in several other countries, the government has a list of "approved" names -- in Iceland's case, a little more than 1,700 male and 1,800 female.

U.K.'s The Independent reports Blaer Eidsdottir's first name means "light breeze" in Icelandic, yet officially she's been known as "Stulka," or "girl" -- on all her official documents.  Her family is hoping the lawsuit will allow Blaer to finally keep her actual name.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


New York to Moscow Plane Diverted After Bomb Threat

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A passenger jet flying from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport to Moscow was diverted to Iceland on Thursday because a caller reportedly told the NYPD there was a bomb on board.

A total of 256 people were on board the Russian Aeroflot plane when an anonymous caller told New York City police that there was a bomb on the flight, airline spokeswoman Irina Dannenberg told Russian media outlets.

Authorities in New York confirmed to ABC News that the plane was diverted because of "technical issues."

No bomb was found on board the plane, which remains in good condition, according to Russian news agency Interfax.  Interfax also reported that passengers are waiting for a new crew to arrive.  The crew on board the plane diverted to Iceland is reportedly being sent home to Moscow, as crews on the airline work according to set timetables.

The Airbus A330 took off from New York on Wednesday.  Prior to diverting to Iceland's Keflavik International Airport, at one point, the pilot considered turning the flight back to New York.  However, the pilot then decided to go on, only to divert to Iceland.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Belgian Hikers Pulled by Helicopter from Icelandic Glacier

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Two Belgian tourists attempting to climb the largest glacier in Europe were saved from possible freezing deaths in a dramatic helicopter rescue Saturday night after conditions atop Iceleand’s Vatnajökull glacier became unbearable.

One of the men was barely conscious when the Icelandic Coast Guard reached the two on the snow cap’s highest peak. The men, said to be experienced hikers, had sent up an emergency signal around 10 p.m. when wind gusts picked up and temperatures dropped to around -35 Celsius with the wind factor, according to the Iceland Review.

The men had gotten into trouble when their tent ripped, exposing them to the blizzard conditions.  The elements were so severe that even the rescuers suffered minor frostbite to their faces, Iceland Review reports.

The dramatic rescue, which the lead rescuer described as like a “clip from a movie,” was captured by a night vision camera.  Rescuers used night vision goggles to locate the two men, and then one rescuer was lowered down from the helicopter to pull the two men back up.

The hikers were said to be in good condition when they were found, apart from being cold.  The unconscious man regained full consciousness once he was in the helicopter, according to Iceland Review, which also reported that the helicopter landed safely in the town of Hornafjorour around 2 a.m.  No word was given on the climbers’ current condition.

Coast Guard officials credited the two men’s preparedness with saving their lives, reporting that the climbers had borrowed the emergency transmitter they ultimately used to call authorities from the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue before they left on their journey.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is This Iceland’s Loch Ness Monster?

Alexander Schnurer/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Does the fabled Loch Ness monster of Iceland really exist? Scientists are skeptical, but a new video alleging to have captured images of the monster has gone viral online, raising the debate over its existence anew.

The video was shot Feb. 2 by local resident Hjortur Kjerulf and then posted on the website of Icelandic broadcaster RUV.  The footage shows what looks like a creature slithering through the icy waters of the Jökulsá í Fljótsdal river in east Iceland.

The alleged monster, known as Lagarfljótsormurinn, Iceland’s version of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster, has been a part of Icelandic folklore since 1345.

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The story goes that the mythical creature has lived in the 25-mile long and 376-feet deep Lagarfljót lake ever since a young girl who wanted her ring to grow placed the ring around a tiny worm. When she returned, the worm had grown and, frightened by it, she hurled the worm into the river where it grew into the now legendary Iceland Loch Ness monster.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Iceland's Grimsvotn Volcano Erupts, Forces Airport Shutdown

Medioimages/Photodisc(REYKJAVIK, Iceland) -- Iceland's biggest and most active volcano, Grimsvotn, started erupting Saturday sending an ash plume 12 miles high into the sky and closing Iceland's main airport.

Iceland's Meteorological Office said that eruptions from the Grímsvötn volcano – which hasn't erupted since 2004 - began as subglacial eruptions which quickly broke its ice covering and sent smoke and ash 65,000 ft. into the air.

The ash plume is expected to drift east and north away from Europe, no expected impact on the European airspace for at least the first 24 hours.

The Grimsvotn eruption is larger than the Eyjafjallajokull eruption which occurred in 2010, but is not likely to have the same massive effect.

In April 2010, when Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull's volcano erupted it left some 10 million travelers worldwide stranded and cost airlines an estimated $1.7 billion, according to the International Air Transport Association.

On Sunday Isavia, the Icelandic company that operates all airport facilities and air navigation in the nation, shut down the nation's largest airport, Keflavik, for the day.

A no-fly zone is being enforced for 120 nautical miles in all directions of the eruption.

"A danger area has been established for all instrument flying that includes the upper approach airspace for the Keflavik and Reykjavik international airports. Visual flight rule operations are currently not affected," Isavia said in a statement.

Volcanic activity can wreak havoc on international air traffic, as eruptions can spew a torrent of hot, tiny particles of rock, glass and sand that can be sucked into a jet engines and cause engine failure.

The Grimsvotn volcano is not expected to cause any prolonged disruptions, but conditions may vary depending on the duration of the eruption, wind patterns, and the height of the ash plume.

Grimsvotn last erupted in 2004, 1998, 1996 and 1993

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio