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AVALANCHE UPDATE: Child becomes storm’s second fatality after dying of injuries Sunday; evacuations extended indefinitely

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A child caught in Saturday’s avalanche died Sunday morning at the University Hospital in North Norway from injuries sustained in the incident, officials said Sunday evening.

The child was one of two trapped in one of the ten homes buried by the avalanche that also killed Longyearbyen School teacher Atle Husby. Hospital officials are not releasing the child’s age and gender.

The child’s sibling is also at the hospital in Tromsø, but with less serious injuries.

“An unimaginable effort was made to rescue them from the house,” Svalbard Gov. Kjerstin Askholt said during a press conference Sunday.

Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen told Verdens Gang the children’s parents were at the hospital since yesterday and are getting support there.

“There is a double tragedy in what is happening now that has a child passed away,” he said. “We could not afford to lose one, now we’ve lost two.”

About 180 residents were forced to evacuate their homes due to the risk of additional avalanches. Two experts surveyed the area Sunday afternoon and Askholt said Sunday evening the evacuation period is being extended indefinitely.

“We have had a very unique weather situation,” she said. “The wind and precipitation must subside before we can be absolutely certain. The positive is that the forecasts are promising, but we can not lift an evacuation based on forecasts.”

The evacuated zones are divided into three areas based on risk, Askholt said. Officials are evaluating whether they might allow some groups of residents back into their homes briefly to gather necessary belongings.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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3 thoughts on “AVALANCHE UPDATE: Child becomes storm’s second fatality after dying of injuries Sunday; evacuations extended indefinitely

  1. It all stops at the word “child.” My heart breaks when. Read of so much of the damage and loss sustained so far. Your coverage has been astounding, especially as you are an evacuee yourself.

    Do you still have a donation enabled site at IcePeople? I’d like to donate and I’m sure many fangs of IP, Longyearbyen and Svalbard would like to contribute.

  2. It all stops at the word “child.” My heart breaks when. Read of so much of the damage and loss sustained so far. Your coverage has been astounding, especially as you are an evacuee yourself.

    Do you still have a donation enabled site at IcePeople? I’d like to donate and I’m sure many fangs of IP, Longyearbyen and Svalbard would like to contribute.

  3. This is a terrible news… Longyearbyen is so beautiful and so peaceful… My thoughts with all of you up in the north !

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