Tag Archives: Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate

EXTREME AVALANCHE RISK WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY: Level Four conditions forecast for Longyearbyen vicinity and East Svalbard due to wind and large amounts of unstable snow


Map of 13 avalanches near Longyearbyen and Barentsburg in past 72 hours by NVE

Update 5:40 p.m. Tuesday: A large avalanche  at in Ottofjellet, about 15 kilometers northeast of Longyearbyen, was reported late in the afternoon by a snowmobiler, according to The Governor of Svalbard (see photo below). A Level Four risk alert is now in effect for the entire region.

Original story: An extreme risk of avalanches is forecast Wednesday and Thursday for some of Svalbard’s most popular spring excursion areas – including the vicinities of Longyearbyen and Barentsburg, and east Svalbard – due to increasing winds and significant accumulations of unstable snow, according to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate.

ALERT – HIGH-LEVEL AVALANCHE WARNING FOR EAST SVALBARD ON TUES-WED.: Level 4 risk due to heavy snow/wind means all potential danger areas should be avoided, NVE says


A major spring storm expected to result in up to 17 millimeters of precipitation and near-gale winds on Tuesday and Wednesday means there is a major risk of avalanches in east Svalbard, and all areas where they might be triggered should be avoided, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) declared in a warning Monday.

‘ALMOST THE ENTIRE MOUNTAINSIDE HAS COLLAPSED’: Massive avalanches reported in areas near Longyearbyen; skier near one, but no incidents of harm reported


Several avalanches up to a kilometer in length have occurred during the past couple of days in the mountains near Longyearbyen, prompting The Governor of Svalbard to issue a strongly worded warning Wednesday to people on excursions.

WINDY WHITEOUT: Blizzard puts Longyearbyen on avalanche alert, delays flight to mainland until at least after midnight


A blizzard resulting in heavy snow and near-zero visibility Monday has triggered an avalanche alert for Longyearbyen, and led to the cancellation of one passenger flight to the mainland and the delay of a second until at least after midnight Tuesday, according to officials.

‘A completely unsustainable situation’: New avalanche risk report says far more homes than thought are vulnerable


Far more homes in the center of Longyearbyen are vulnerable to avalanches than previously thought. Spending 100 million to protect 37 residences and other parts of the city center with various snow barriers is being recommended. But there appears to be no practical way to protect about 140 more residences – meaning even more costly teardown and rebuilding efforts for a town already in a large-scale housing crisis.

STORM ALERT: 20-40mm of precipitation, near-gale winds, warm temps, high avalanche risk forecast Saturday


A storm is expected to dump up to 40 millimeters of precipitation – all or mostly rain – in Longyearbyen on Saturday, causing significant avalanche and flooding risks, according to an alert issued Friday by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of April 11, 2017


Spate of accidents, small avalanches causes for caution during sunny and busy Easter Week
Several accidents resulting in injuries and at least two small avalanches have occurred in the past few days as Svalbard enters one of its busiest weeks for outdoor excursions, according to The Governor of Svalbard and other officials.

Guess who’s in the house? Workers aren’t sure where they can live after latest avalanches redefines ‘community in transition’


Eighteen months ago there were scary headlines about Longyearbyen losing 30 percent of its population and panicky questions about who would fill all those empty homes where laid off coal miners recently lived.

Now the panic is how to squeeze a non-declining population into a suddenly alarming shortage of housing being sold and rented at skyrocketing prices.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: NVE experts conducting snow checks throughout Wednesday; public update meeting at 8 p.m.


Update (2:34 p.m.): Svalbard Gov. Kjerstin Askholt said NVE experts are expected to conduct their snow assessment work until 6 p.m., after which the local emergency council will meet to determine if the evacuation order will be extended. She said it is possible the decision will be announced before the 8 p.m. public meeting at Kulturhuset.

Original story: Avalanche experts with the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) began assessing the snowpack on Sukkertoppen by helicopter and foot at midday Wednesday to determine the risk of further avalanches after the one that destroyed two apartment buildings Tuesday morning. A public meeting to update the situation is scheduled at 8 p.m. at Kulturhuset.

WARNING SIGNS: Another major avalanche shatters people’s faith in official alert system as well as homes


Exasperating as the multiple widespread evacuations were, there was a general level of support and understanding for the “better safe than sorry” policy of local leaders. Now that’s been shaken up as much as residents’ nerves were following an avalanche 18 months ago that started it all.