The volcano Helgefell, on Iceland's Vestmann islands, was showing signs of quietening down on Tuesday (30 Jan).
LV & SV Volcanic eruption
LV & SV Volcano erupting (3 shots)
SV Rescue workers carrying belongings through town
GV Smoke billowing over island
GVs Rooftops covered, road sign, windows (4 shots)
SV PULL BACK GV Bulldozer clearing ash
GV Workers getting belongings from attic
SV & GV Ships being loaded with goods in harbour (2 shots)
GV Ash covered town
Volcano activity; rescue workers clearing town; smoke billowing over island; ash over houses and roads; bulldozer clearing ash; ships being loaded with people's belongings.
Initials SGM/0221 SGM/0213
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Background: The volcano Helgefell, on Iceland's Vestmann islands, was showing signs of quietening down on Tuesday (30 Jan).
The eruptions, which began nine days ago, were becoming less frequent, according to observers.
Meanwhile, with a lull in the high winds which had been spreading volcanic ash, rescue workers continued clearing the town of Vestmannaeyjar, which was nearly deserted.
In all, 5,500 people had to leave their homes in the Vestmanns.
Iceland's Prime Minister has promised to rebuild Vestmannaeyjar town when the eruptions stop.
SYNOPSIS: After nine days of eruptions, there are sings of a quietening of volcanic activity on Iceland's Vestmann islands.
More than five-and-a-half thousand inhabitants of the Vestmanns had to leave their homes because of Helgefell volcano, on the island of Heimaey. Most came from the fishing centre called Vestmannaeyjar.
On Tuesday, rescue workers continued clearing the town as winds that had been carrying volcanic ash dropped.
The eruptions of Helgefell have all but buried much of Vestmannaeyjar under thick black ash...thirteen feet deep in places. Many houses made of wood have burned and many with flat roofs have collapsed.
The Iceland government has promised to rebuild the town when the eruptions stop altogether. And despite the devastation, many inhabitants have already vowed to return to Vestmannaeyjar as soon as they can.
In the meantime, it's a matter of removing personal possessions that had to be left behind in the first rush of evacuation. The disaster is the worst in the history of Iceland, and an initial sum of five-and-a-half million dollars set aside by the government to help the refugees is not expected to be nearly enough.