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Washed-away bridge in Iceland

The eruption of Iceland's Bárðarbunga volcano in November 1996 initially went unnoticed because it occurred under one of Europe's largest glaciers.

Yet the eruption was not without consequence. The boiling hot lava was given a month to melt the ice, and on 5 November, it found its way south via the glacial river Skeiðará. A tremendous mudslide of ice blocks and rocks dragged everything, including bridges and roads.

Skeiðarárbrú bridge

The bridge over the Skeiðará River was another of the victims. The 904-metre-long Skeiðarárbrú bridge was built in 1974 and was the capstone of the ring road around Iceland. After the mudslide in 1996, not much remained of the bridge. Most of the bridge was swept away and never seen again.

Downstream, a few twisted steel pillars were still found, half buried in the sand. Two of those crushed girders now form the Skeiðará Bridge Monument, a reminder of the devastating 1996 eruption.

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