ALERT: Upper homes/lodging in Nybyen evacuated, other access limits in town imposed due to weather-related avalanche risks; (UPDATE: Order lifted as of noon Saturday)


Update 2 p.m. Saturday: The evacuation order was lifted as of noon Saturday, according to The Governor of Svalbard. Vei 300 between Huset and the old museum is still closed until after Easter weekend.

Original story: An evacuation of Gjesethuset 102 and other buildings near the mountainside in Nybyen, along with access restrictions in other at-risk areas of Longyearbyen, was ordered by The Governor of Svalbard on Friday evening due to rain and above-freezing temperatures that are causing a variety of problems for people trying to get about.

“It is expected that the temperatures will fall and the rainfall will decline on Saturday and that situation will normalize,” Gov. Kjerstin Askholt said in a prepared statement. “We will therefore make a new assessment together with Skred AS.”

The evacuation of buildings along the mountainside of Nybyen (see map) took effect at 6 p.m. Friday. Other areas closed or with limited access include:

• The bridge over the river from Vannledningsdalen (“Perleporten”) is closed due to the risk of minor slush avalanches.
• The road between Longyearbyen School and Nybyen will only be open for car transportation for residents and guests in the hotels and Coal Miners Cabins restaurant.
• Vei 300 from Huset to the old museum, which was closed to all traffic earlier this week. The adjacent ski trail is also closed.


The governor is also recommending people avoid the trek to Larsbreeen until conditions stabalize.