EASTER EVACUATION ENDS: Two-day residential and traffic ban in Nybyen and Lia due to avalanche risk cancelled

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An evacuation of the mountainside buildings in Nybyen, plus a traffic ban in that area and the Lia neighborhood, was cancelled Monday afternoon by The Governor of Svalbard.

The evacuation that begin at 7 p.m. Saturday and affected about 50 people was due to a storm Sunday that brought strong winds and some snow to the area, adding to already risky conditions in local mountains. But assessment by experts Monday determined there is no longer danger to the buildings in the evacuated areas.

“There is still a significant risk of landslides in the terrain,” a statement by the governor notes. “The governor asks people who are on a trip to take their precautions and not seek out avalanche-prone areas.”

A Level Three (“considerable”) avalanche risk level is forecast for the Longyearbyen area Monday and Tuesday by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate. No major storms are forecast this week for the area.