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Daily Archives: 19. December 2015 − News & Stories


Avalan­che in Lon­gye­ar­by­en: one per­son con­fir­med dead

Today’s avalan­che in Lon­gye­ar­by­en has taken one person’s life. Res­cue for­ces found the body of a resi­dent who was bet­ween 40 and 50 years old. Several per­sons are inju­red and at least 10 houses dama­ged. No fur­ther per­sons are mis­sing.

A num­ber of houses in the part of Lon­gye­ar­by­en con­cer­ned have been evacua­ted to pre­vent fur­ther risks. The houses are tho­se ones which are nea­rest to the moun­tain Suk­ker­top­pen. The addres­ses con­cer­ned are Vei 230 nr 29 – 39, Vei 228 – nr 6 -16 and 15-21, Vei 226 nr 10, 12 and 31 – 37 and Vei 222 Nr 5-17 as well as Vei 224 Nr. 6 and 7 and the old hos­pi­tal (which has been an appart­ment house for many years now) and all houses in Nyby­en, whe­re guest houses and stu­dent halls of resi­den­cy are loca­ted. The road from the cent­re to Nyby­en is clo­sed.

Near 100 res­cue per­so­nell and vol­un­te­ers are on loca­ti­on. Locals have offe­red their flats and pri­va­te guest rooms to tho­se who have lost their houses.

Some of the houses that have been dama­ged by the avalan­che today (archi­ve image).

Longyearbyen-Avalanche

Hea­viest storm in Lon­gye­ar­by­en in 30 years: houses dama­ged by avalan­che

Sin­ce days ago, the­re had been storm warnings for Sval­bard for the last night, fore­cas­ting winds up to hur­ri­ca­ne for­ce. The storm that hit last night was the stron­gest one in Lon­gye­ar­by­en in 30 years. The­re have been several dama­ges in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, the most dra­ma­tic one being houses which were dama­ged by a snow avalan­che that went down from the wes­tern slo­pe of Suk­ker­top­pen, a smal­ler moun­tain on the cor­ner bet­ween Lon­gye­arda­len (whe­re most of the sett­le­ment is loca­ted) and Advent­da­len. As far as is known, 10 houses were dama­ged. All res­cue for­ces avail­ab­le and many vol­un­te­ers are on loca­ti­on to help and to look for peop­le. It is unknown if peop­le have suf­fe­red inju­ries or worse. The dama­ged houses are the “Spiss­hu­se­ne”, a row of houses near Suk­ker­top­pen in a part of Lon­gye­ar­by­en known as Lia (the row of colour­ful houses whe­re the Arc­tic cot­ton grass is flowe­ring so beau­ti­ful­ly in sum­mer). Some of the houses have been moved, it is said that the dis­lo­ca­ti­on was up to 20 m at least. Some of the houses were pro­bab­ly empty as they had been used by employees of the mining com­pa­ny Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kul­kom­pa­ni, which had to dis­miss a lar­ge num­ber of miners recent­ly. Others may alrea­dy be in main­land Nor­way for Christ­mas. Other houses are cur­r­ent­ly occup­pied, inclu­ding fami­lies with litt­le child­ren. At least, the­re is so far no infor­ma­ti­on about peop­le being inju­red or even worse.

During the last night, local atten­ti­on was more focus­sed on the dogyard in Advent­da­len, whe­re several peop­le were on watch to look after the dogs. Ever­ything seems to be well the­re, con­si­de­ring the cir­cum­s­tan­ces. 

Several roofs have been dama­ged by wind, inclu­ding the roof of the school.

The­re is so far no infor­ma­ti­on about pos­si­ble dama­ge in Bar­ents­burg or other sett­le­ments and sta­ti­ons in Sval­bard.

An impres­si­on of the place of the avalan­che. Pho­to (c) Sval­bard­pos­ten.

Longyearbyen-Avalanche

Our thoughts are with the peop­le in Lon­gye­ar­by­en!

Source: Sys­sel­man­nen, Sval­bard­pos­ten, Face­book

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