Tag Archives: Kjerstin Askholt

GOVERNOR GETS KINGLY APPOINTMENT: Kjerstin Askholt, Svalbard’s governor since 2015, moving to Norway’s southernmost district as new police chief in Agder


Kjerstin Askholt, named Svalbard’s governor in 2015 just as a literal and figurative avalanche of hardships were beginning, has been named the new chief of police in Agder, Norway’s King-in-Council announced Friday.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of July 17, 2018


Oil pump failure at boiler house results in lack of hot water
Much of Longyearbyen is experiencing a lack of hot water due to the failure of an oil pump that is part of the city’s backup power system, which is being used while the main power plant undergoes maintenance.

‘A completely unsustainable situation’: New avalanche risk report says far more homes than thought are vulnerable


Far more homes in the center of Longyearbyen are vulnerable to avalanches than previously thought. Spending 100 million to protect 37 residences and other parts of the city center with various snow barriers is being recommended. But there appears to be no practical way to protect about 140 more residences – meaning even more costly teardown and rebuilding efforts for a town already in a large-scale housing crisis.

Moving day: Governor orders homes in avalanche-prone area of Lia to be evacuated until snow is gone


It was just a matter of time – and that time is three days after the second anniversary of an avalanche that wiped out 11 homes in the neighborhood.

The evacuation of more than a dozen apartment buildings and other residences in an avalanche-prone section of Lia neighborhood near the center of Longyearbyen was ordered Thursday afternoon by Svalbard Gov. Kjerstin Askholt. The order, similar to one enacted during the past winter following a second avalanche that destroyed homes, takes effect Dec. 22 and will remain in effect “as long as there is a risk of avalanches in the area.”

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.

New abnormal: How often will we have to evacuate homes this winter due to extreme storms? And for good later?


We may be in for a winter of discontent, but that’s far preferable to another time of tragedy.

Hundreds of Longyearbyen residents were forced to evacuate their homes for the second time in less than a year earlier this month due to extreme weather and officials said it’s entirely possible more will occur in the near future. What nobody can realistically predict, of course, is just how often.

Pushing Against The Ocean: In six years the Arctic coasts they’re cleaning will again be full of trash – is it worth the effort? (PLUS: Watch trailer for upcoming documentary)


The beach along the rocky inlet is strewn with so much and such diverse garbage it’s reasonable to suspect it might have been the dumping ground for a fish camp. And some Russian graves at the top of the ridge might support that theory – if they weren’t more than a century old.

Instead, the evidence suggests it was dumped during a six-year period by everyone from fishermen in the north Atlantic to families in London who don’t recycle their soda cans.

If Super Pumas are grounded, why not the governor’s (and what was that ‘other’ helicopter at the ski marathon)?


A Super Puma helicopter that killed 13 people when it crashed off the coast of west Norway on Friday is a “next generation” model of the two rescue helicopters used by The Governor of Svalbard, so a worldwide grounding of the fleet doesn’t apply to the local aircraft, according to officials.

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.

October surprise: Svalbard’s new governor gets a whirlwind introduction to unfamiliar duties in a very familiar place


At roughly the same time Kjerstin Askholt was delivering a fireside chat to visitors about the historic home she just moved into, police officers under her authority were rounding up suspects in what may be Longyearbyen’s biggest drug bust in modern times.

The police were still making arrests when the biggest October rain and snow storm in 40 years hit, and just as it was ending her search and rescue team was asked to retrieve a patient on a ship beyond the helicopter’s fuel range.