Tag Archives: Elke Morgner

FIVE YEARS AFTER ‘THE’ AVALANCHE: Survivors moving on, but the wreckage and recovery continues reshaping Longyearbyen after fateful tragedy takes away lives and homes – and security


Exactly five years ago Malte Jochmann and Elke Morgner, their two young children, and a visiting friend were buried in the kitchen under tons of snow that had just destroyed their home and 10 others. Just after noon on Saturday in the 24-hour darkness of Longyearbyen’ polar night, the couple of their children gathered at a candlelight memorial perhaps 100 meters away from their former home and reflected on how they were among the lucky ones.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Jan. 12, 2016


(Editor’s note: We’re not in the habit of shilling for Svalbardposten here, but they published two exceptional articles during the past week about the miraculous rescue of two families during the Dec. 19 avalanche. Both are available in English and, while behind the paywall, a 24-hour daypass is 30 kroner. The following are excepts introducing the families’ tales:

‘An avalanche had buried all five of us in the kitchen’
Eli Anne Ersdal, 35, and co-habitating couple Elke Morgner, 35, and Malte Jochmann, 38, suddenly found themselves buried in the snow. And their small children were gone.