Residents living in still-evacuated areas will be allowed into their homes for brief periods of time to collect urgent person items between 8 and 10…
Posts published in “Day: December 21, 2015”
A memorial service for Atle Husby, 42, a musician Longyearbyen School teacher who was killed in Saturday’s avalanche, is scheduled at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Svalbard Church.
Husby, who has three young children, was fatally trapped in one of the ten homes buried by a wave of snow up to four meters high in the Saturday morning avalanche.
Nikoline Røkenes, 2, buried for two hours in parents’ home with her sister Pernille, 3, is the second person killed in Saturday’s avalanche, the family confirmed Monday.
“You are living in a nightmare you never wake up from and what has happened is incomprehensible,” her father, Kim Rune Røkenes, who is Longyearbyen’s energy chief, wrote in a message posted at the city’s website Monday afternoon.
AVALANCHE UPDATE: Evacuation order ends for Vei 230, Gamle Sykehust, Nybyen; other evacuees traveling to mainland today can get briefly grab possessions until 2 p.m.
Update (1:15 p.m.): Guards standing watch at the entrance to streets leading to evacuated homes, and equipped with avalanche transceivers and shovels, allowed residents a few minutes to collect urgent items before traveling to the mainland.
Martin Liira, a Longyearbyen Red Cross volunteer standing watch with LNSS worker Ragnar Elstad at the turnoff to Vei 226, said about 15 people showed up shortly before 1 p.m. and were told to enter and leave as quickly as possible, but there were no firm time limits.
“We told them to try to stay in no more than 10 minutes,” he said. “Obviously if they need more time to pack clothes we won’t force them to leave.”
Residents of evacuated homes traveling to the mainland today are being allowed in their homes until 2 p.m., but must register with officials guarding the streets.