AVALANCHE IN NYBYEN: ‘Major’ snow slide narrowly misses cabins, but no structures or people damaged; traffic ban remains in effect; three other avalanches during weekend


A “major” avalanche at the northern part of Nybyen on Sunday came close to two cabins, but did not cause and property damage and no people were caught, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

The area remains under an evacuation order imposed Friday night and a traffic ban remains in effect as well.

The evacuation of the buildings along the mountainside was prompted by a blizzard Saturday and Sunday that left significant snow accumulation on top of already substantial snow, plus high winds causing drifts and crests posing a high risk of avalanche.

At least three other sizeable avalanches in in vicinity of Longyearbyen were reported during the weekend, according to the governor’s office.

On Saturday an avalanche about 400 meters long and 300 meters wide was reported at Fritham by a snowmobiling group. On Sunday “the Governor has been notified that there have been two major avalanches on the east side and the west side of Fardalen.” Nobody was reported caught in any of the snow slides.