Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, sent the following message to University staff and students today (29 January 2021):
"Dear students and colleagues,
People have been working extremely hard this week to clean and dry out the University of Iceland buildings which were worst affected by the flood last week. The extent of the damage and its impact on the University and our work has become increasingly clear as time goes by. One of the tasks that lies ahead is to map all the damage that has occurred.
The School of Social Sciences Office has been moved to Oddi and options for teaching that would have taken place in the temporarily unusable parts of Gimli and the University Centre are being explored. Further information on arrangements will be forthcoming over the next few days.
Earlier this week, work started on cleaning the mechanical room in Gimli, where some of the most serious damage occurred. Repairs to the electrical switchboard in Gimli went better than expected, though, and it was wonderful to see electricity restored to the building at the start of the week.
The air conditioning unit in Lögberg was also fixed on Tuesday. Work will continue on drying out the ground floor of Lögberg and a number of moisture meters will be set up in the floor panels to monitor the drying of the concrete. Unfortunately, the air conditioning units in the University Centre and Gimli are very badly damaged and perhaps even beyond repair.
There was also significant damage to the University grounds and the Department of Buildings and Facilities have been working particularly hard to clean and restore areas around the buildings.
I would like to thank everyone who has been involved with the cleaning and renovation efforts these last few days; their work is absolutely essential for us all.
Although we have suffered many setbacks recently, which at first seemed like they might prevent us from continuing our vital work in education and research, we have never given up. Science reveals the unknown, brings the truth to light and frequently generates discoveries that advance humankind. This is what makes our resilience and solidarity so essential.
Although the fight against COVID-19 is going well right now, there is no reason to relax the precautions we take against infection. We must follow the guidance from the Trio, who have shared with us important knowledge from a range of scientific fields and encouraged us all to behave in a way that truly reduces the risk of infection.
Let's enjoy the weekend, but remain cautious.
Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector"