spitzbergen-3
fb  Spitsbergen Panoramas - 360-degree panoramas  de  en  nb  Spitsbergen Shop  
Marker
Home → February, 2016

Monthly Archives: February 2016 − News


Living house in Lon­gye­ar­by­en in dan­ger of col­lap­se: evacua­ti­on

Lon­gye­ar­by­en is cur­r­ent­ly having tough times, espe­cial­ly if you hap­pen to live in the wrong house: after the cata­stro­phic dest­ruc­tion of 11 houses and the loss of two lives during an avalan­che befo­re Christ­mas, the old hos­pi­tal had to be evacua­ted very quick­ly last week. The old hos­pi­tal (gam­le syke­hu­set) is near the Spits­ber­gen-Hotel (form­er­ly Hotel Fun­ken) upval­ley from the cent­re. It was built in 1954 and con­ver­ted to a living house with 16 flats in 1997.

More recent­ly, the buil­ding had shown signs of move­ment such as minor cracks in walls and shif­ting angles – not­hing that cau­sed any grea­ter con­cern, but it caught enough atten­ti­on to ask for the report of a civil engi­neer. The result came Thurs­day last week and it hit the inha­bi­tants like a ham­mer: at 4 p.m. peop­le were told that they had to lea­ve their homes until 10 p.m. the same day. Anything they were unab­le to remo­ve from their homes would be out of reach for some time, as it was not allo­wed to enter the buil­ding at all from then on, initi­al­ly.

Cur­r­ent­ly, the inha­bi­tants get per­mis­si­on to enter their homes under restric­tions to retrie­ve their belon­gings as much as pos­si­ble. Some have alrea­dy offe­red their belon­gings for sale or even for free to anyo­ne who is able to pick it up.

The buil­ding is in dan­ger of col­laps, but when this may or may not hap­pen is not known. It may col­lap­se today or stand for ano­t­her year or more. But it is not expec­ted that peop­le will be able to move back.

For the inha­bi­tants, who are most­ly the owners of their homes, this came as a total shock and, in some cases, it is likely to be a com­ple­te eco­no­mi­c­al dis­as­ter.

The local admi­nis­tra­ti­on (lokals­ty­re) has offe­red tem­pora­ry accom­mo­da­ti­on to tho­se con­cer­ned, but only for a cou­p­le of weeks. Not a lot of time for every for ever­y­bo­dy to find new homes.

The old hos­pi­tal (gam­le syke­hu­set) lies wit­hin a cal­mer dwel­ling area a bit away from down­town Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Cur­r­ent­ly, it is not qui­te as calm the­re: the inha­bi­tants were evacua­ted on very short noti­ce last week.

The old hospital (gamle sykehuset) in Longyearbyen

North Korea signs Sval­bard Trea­ty

While North Korea is pro­vo­king the world by tes­ting nuclear wea­pons and long-ran­ge mis­si­les, the regime has signed the Sval­bard Trea­ty on Janu­a­ry 25 without much public atten­ti­on. This trea­ty, which was signed in 1920 in Ver­sailles and came into for­ce in 1925, gave Nor­way sov­er­eig­n­ty over the Spits­ber­gen archi­pe­la­go (the ori­gi­nal trea­ty docu­ment does not have the name Sval­bard) while main­tai­ning rights of signa­to­ry governments and their citi­zens to be eco­no­mi­c­al­ly and sci­en­ti­fi­cal­ly acti­ve without the need for a gene­ral per­mis­si­on. One of the con­se­quen­ces is that Spits­ber­gen is, in con­trast to main­land Nor­way, not part of the Schen­gen Trea­ty area.

Sval­bard is not unknown in the far east: espe­cial­ly in Thai­land, peop­le are qui­te awa­re of this uni­que job oppor­tu­ni­ty that does not requi­re resi­dence or work per­mits. The third-lar­gest popu­la­ti­on group in Lon­gye­ar­by­en are Thai peop­le, which have been forming an important part of the social and eco­no­mic struc­tu­re of the town for many years by now.

It is not known if the North Kore­an regime plans their admis­si­on to the trea­ty to be fol­lo­wed by any prac­ti­cal steps or any kind of pre­sence. North Korea is also mem­ber sta­te of the Ant­arc­tic Trea­ty (without voting rights). As far as known, the only North Kore­an acti­vi­ty in Ant­arc­ti­ca was the par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on of some sci­en­tists in a Soviet expe­di­ti­on in 1989/90.

What is Kim Jong Un doing in Sval­bard? Cree­py duo in Pyra­mi­den (pho­to com­po­si­ti­on).

Kim in Svalbard

Source: The Inde­pen­dent Bar­ents Obser­ver

Back

News-Listing live generated at 2021/October/20 at 12:34:19 Uhr (GMT+1)
css.php