ALERT: Landslide, two polar bears across from Longyearbyen prompt travel warnings


A female polar bear and her cub spotted Saturday morning at Revneset, and a large landslide just beyond the cabin area across from Longyearbyen mean people venturing beyond town need to take extra precautions, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

The governor was alerted to the bears’ presence at about 9:30 a.m. and for now is simply monitoring them to ensure they don’t approach Longyearbyen, Police Chief Lt. told Svalbardposten.

“It is basically no problem that they are in a cottage area and we will not take action as long as they are there,” he said.

The sighting came less than a day after the governor issued another travel warning due to a large landslide on the coastline at Carolinedalen that was spotted from a passing aircraft.

“The timing is uncertain, but it happened during the last few days,” an announcement by the governor’s office states.

“The governor asks all to be cautious when traveling in the terrain and pay special attention to the danger of landslides,” the statement adds. “Keep away from avalanche areas. When masses are giving out it means that the permafrost thaws further down, which may cause the risk of new landslides.”