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Home* News and Stories → Evacua­tions in Lon­gye­ar­by­en due to avalan­che risk

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.

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (3): Die Bären­in­sel und Jan May­en”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!



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last modification: 2018-12-03 · copyright: Rolf Stange