Tag Archives: evacuation

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Evacuees allowed to collect belongings from 3-6 p.m. Thursday as city grapples with housing solution


Residents of 55 evacuated apartments and houses who suddenly found themselves homeless for the long-term Wednesday night will be allowed back into their homes between 3 and 6 p.m. to retrieve belongings, according to The Governor of Svalbard. There will also be additional opportunities at a time to be determined.

The question for many is where they’ll be moving those belongings to.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Governor recommends 13 residential buildings near hillside be abandoned long-term or permanently


The long-term or permanent evacuation of 13 residential buildings closest to the mountain where two devastating avalanches have occurred in the past 14 months was recommended Wednesday by The Governor of Svalbard. The decision is for practical purposes effective immediately since the buildings were already evacuated after a landslide in the area Tuesday.

STORM UPDATE: Governor orders evacuation of Nybyen; will evaluate situation in other areas at 2 p.m. Wednesday


An order requiring people in Nybyen to evacuate their buildings due to an approaching snowstorm was issued just before noon Wednesday by The Governor of Svalbard. Residents in Lia beneath Sukkertoppen, where an avalanche struck last Dec. 19 after a similar storm of greater intensity, are being allowed to remain pending a further assessment of the situation at 2 p.m.

“According to NVE’s ratings Wednesday morning, there is a possibility of smaller avalanches in Longyearbyen, but not so that they will jeopardize settlements,” a statement issued by the governor’s office notes. “Nybyen will be most at risk and is therefore ordered evacuated. The road to Nybyen will be closed from school. The road to Huset on the west side of Longyeardalen will remain open.”

STORM ALERT: Evacuations lifted for all areas except apartments at Vei 232 and the dog kennels


An evacuation order affecting 259 people has been lifted for nearly all areas as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

The order remains in place for residences 522 to 544 on Vei 232 and for the dog kennels just outside of Longyearbyen, with a new assessment of those areas scheduled Thursday. The order has been lifted for those living or staying in Nybyen, the vicinity of Svalbard Church and apartment complexes along Vei 222.

STORM UPDATE: Evacuations to continue indefinitely, but hillside study and status update coming this evening


The evacuations that have displaced 259 people will continue indefinitely, but officials are scheduled to do further analysis of the hillsides surrounding Longyearbyen and issue a status update after meeting at 5:30 p.m., according to The Governor of Svalbard.

STORM UPDATE: Wednesday a lot like Tuesday, except not as wet


There’s still rain in the forecast. Temperatures are still well above freezing. There will be another mid-day helicopter survey of the hillsides. And another early afternoon meeting of emergency officials. And sometime later this afternoon we’ll learn if some or all of us will be allowed to return home.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Twelve apartments must be evacuated again due to building and infrastructure damage


Relief at being allowed to return home was short-lived for residents of 12 apartments on Vei 228 after they were forced to evacuate their homes again Wednesday due to building and infrastructure damage.

The apartments at housing units 15, 17, 19, and 21, owned by Statsbygg, were among the 114 residences evacuated between the Dec. 19 avalanche and 8 p.m. Tuesday, when a total of 200 residents were allowed to return.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: More homes evaucated overnight; cabin in Bjørndalen hit; 180 awaiting results of risk assessment now underway


An unoccupied cabin in Bjørndalen became the 11th residence buried by an avalanche and additional 59 people were forced to evacuate their homes a few hours past midnight Sunday after experts said structures in the area are at risk from the same storm that forced 120 people out of their homes Saturday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Gathering places for evacuees, relatives open Sunday; Bruktikken open for those needing clothing, etc.


Several locations for people forced to evacuate their homes, relatives of those injured, and others affected by Saturday’s storm and avalanche will remain open Sunday. In addition, Bruktikken will be open starting at 10 a.m. for people needing clothing, bedding and other necessities.



(Note: this story will be updated continuously): An avalanche in the center of Longyearbyen hit ten homes, destroying several, and resulted in the death of a local man in his 40s and serious injuries to three people Saturday morning, including one child in critical condition as of Saturday evening. Dozens more homes and apartments near hillsides were evacuated Saturday due to possible additional slides.

The avalanche was triggered at about 10:30 a.m. by a storm that brought hurricane-force winds and heavy snow to Longyearbyen on Friday night and Saturday morning.

More than 100 people participated in rescue efforts after the slide on Sukketoppen, which is on the east side of town and overshadows one of the densest residential areas, according to The Governor of Svalbard.