Tag Archives: avalanche

ORDER 66: Demolition of nearly half of the 142 residences in avalanche areas scheduled this year beginning in late spring

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People in at-risk areas fearing the loss of homes due to avalanches are now facing the certain loss of them when the snow is no longer a threat as the city plans to begin demolishing the first of 142 residences targeted in late May or early June, with a total of 66 scheduled to be torn down this year.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 5, 2019

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Dwellings at Vei 226 to be first avalanche-area homes of 142 demolished
Residences at the addresses Vei 226 Nos. 23, 25, 27 and 29 are scheduled to be the first four of 142 dwellings in avalanche-prone areas to be demolished beginning in late spring, according to city officials.

Wind wimps? We survived the great gale of ’19 – or are we a bunch of weather weakings scorned by sturdy old-timers?

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We escaped the howler unscathed. The howling, not so much.

Red-alert avalanche maps, headlines hollering about hurricanes and fears of fast flying objects sent Longyearbyen citizens scrambling for shelter while there was literally no wind at the miner’s statute in the town square at noon Thursday. And folks waited…and waited…for the big bad winds to blow their (or somebody’s) house down.

ALERT: Evacuation order lifted for Lia, Nybyen at 3 p.m. Friday as storm passes without avalanches or significant incidents in Longyearbyen

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The storm wasn’t as long or bad as predicted, and the same is now true for an evacuation order imposed early Thursday and expected to last until Saturday, as The Governor of Svalbard said occupants of more than 100 residences and dorms in Lia and Nybyen can return home as of 3 p.m. Friday.

THE APPROACHING STORM: New forecast calls for more intense winds and more snow in Longyearbyen to 90 km/h; Svalbardbutikken open until at least noon

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Update (11:20 a.m. Thursday): The Norwegian Meteorological Institute has slightly revised and downgraded the peak severity of the storm, with strong gale force winds of 85-90 kilometers per hour now forecast between 3-6 p.m. and slowly diminishing until 10 p.m. Svalbardbutikken will close at noon. Mix kiosk will also close about that time. Svalbard Auto is open as of noon. Assemblin is offering plumbing services at 900 42 509. Governor issues heightened safety alert warning of blowing objects in town and advising everyone to stay inside.

Original story: A major storm expected to bring hurricane-force winds of more than 160 kilometers an hour and extreme avalanche danger to Svalbard on Thursday grew in intensity overnight Wednesday, with the forecast now calling for stronger winds of up to 90 kilometers an hour in Longyearbyen and up to nearly eight millimeters (potentially 10cm or more) of precipitation.

EVACUATIONS ORDERED: More than 100 residences in Lia, Nybyen must be vacated by 8 a.m. Thursday; schools, library other public city facilities closed

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A total of 28 residences near the avalanche-prone mountain of Lia and 81 student dorms in Nybyen must be evacuated by 8 a.m. Thursday due to a storm expected to bring winds exceeding 80 kilometers an hour and extreme avalanche danger to Longyearbyen throughout the day, The Governor of Svalbard announced Wednesday evening. The evacuations are scheduled to last at least until Saturday morning.

WIND STORM/EVACUATION WATCH (UPDATES AS NECESSARY): Evacuation alert as hurricane winds of 160+ km/h, Level-Four avalanche risk forecast Thursday for Svalbard

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Update (4:50 p.m. Wednesday): Evacuations ordered by 8 a.m. Thursday for 29 residences in Lia near Sukkertoppen and 81 university student dorms in Nybyen.

Original story: A storm expected to bring hurricane-force winds of more than 160 kilometers an hour to some parts of Svalbard (strong gale winds of 80+ km/h in Longyearbyen) and extreme avalanche risk conditions Thursday is prompting The Governor of Svalbard to advise residents in at-risk areas to prepare to evacuate their residences.

ALERT: Evacuations possible Sunday evening due to blizzard; residents urged to secure objects due to high winds (UPDATE: No evacuations after evaluations Sunday and Monday))

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(Update 11:30 a.m. Monday: After little or no snow fell during the night, officials said no evacuation will be ordered and no further evaluation meetings have been announced.)

(Update 10 p.m. Sunday: No evacuation ordered; officials will reassess situation at 10 a.m. Monday.)

Evacuating homes in avalanche-prone areas due to snow and high winds is scheduled to be discussed at 8 p.m. Sunday by emergency officials, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

CHRISTMAS CAUTION: Large avalanche in Todalen prompts warning about high risk in coming days

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A major avalanche on the snowmobile trail to Svea at about 6 p.m. Christmas Day triggered a large-scale response by emergency officials, who say there are no reports of people trapped, and a warning about the high risk of additional snowslides during the coming days in the vicinity of Longyearbyen.

CANDLES DEFYING THE STORM: ‘Slowly we have taken back everyday life’ three years after a deadly and fateful avalanche hits Longyearbyen

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There’s a vast dark gap between other homes lit with Christmas lights, and beneath it candles flickering in a snowbank in defiance of heavy rain and wind. Aside from the elements there’s mostly an erie quiet since the water-and-ice surface makes movement treacherous, but at intervals people pause to reflect, place their own candle and exchange memories with others who shared one of Longyearbyen’s most tragic moments three years ago.