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Daily Archives: 3. December 2018 − News & Stories


Evacua­tions in Lon­gye­ar­by­en due to ava­lan­che risk

It has almost beco­me a pain­ful tra­di­ti­on: the evacua­ti­on of dwel­ling hou­ses in Lon­gye­ar­by­en at times of ava­lan­che risk. The white dan­ger was brought back into public atten­ti­on very abrupt­bly in Decem­ber 2015 when a snow ava­lan­che from the moun­tain Suk­ker­top­pen des­troy­ed a num­ber of hou­ses and kil­led two peo­p­le. Fur­ther hou­ses were des­troy­ed during ano­ther ava­lan­che in Febru­ary 2017; this time, it was only a mat­ter of luck that nobo­dy was hurt.

Sin­ce then, mea­su­res are taken to pre­vent fur­ther acci­dents, inclu­ding rather dra­stic ones. Ava­lan­che pro­tec­tion con­s­truc­tions have been estab­lished on the slo­pes of Suk­ker­top­pen. The des­troy­ed hou­ses were not repai­red. On the con­tra­ry, near­by hou­ses are now regu­lar­ly evacua­ted at times of ava­lan­che risk. Depen­ding on the risk at each indi­vi­du­al address, some hou­ses are only evacua­ted when the­re is an acu­te risk, while others are clo­sed during the who­le ava­lan­che sea­son.

On Thurs­day (29 Novem­ber), an ava­lan­che war­ning was issued on var­som based on wea­ther fore­casts that pre­dic­ted a lot of snow. Con­se­quent­ly, the Sys­sel­man­nen reac­ted by issuing evacua­tions for a num­ber of hou­ses.

Longyearbyen Lawine Evakuierungskarte

Evacua­ti­on map of Decem­ber 2017. The hou­ses clo­sed last Thurs­day were within the same area.

Some evacua­tions have alre­a­dy been lifted based on a new ava­lan­che risk eva­lua­ti­on by NVE, the Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ty respon­si­ble for mana­ging ava­lan­che risks (who release war­nings on varsom.no). Others will be kept up during the who­le ava­lan­che sea­son. Visit the Sysselmannen’s web­site for infor­ma­ti­on on which addres­ses are con­cer­ned.

Nach einer neu­en Gefah­ren­ein­schät­zung durch NVE sind die Eva­ku­ie­run­gen teil­wei­se bereits wie­der auf­ge­ho­ben wor­den. Beson­ders gefähr­de­te Häu­ser in den Wegen 222 und 226 wer­den aber von nun an über den gesam­ten Win­ter gesperrt blei­ben. Genaue Infor­ma­tio­nen zu den betrof­fe­nen Adres­sen gibt es bei Sys­sel­man­nen.

It is up to tho­se con­cer­ned to find new accom­mo­da­ti­on – not an easy task con­side­ring the dif­fi­cult housing mar­ket in Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

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