An order requiring people in Nybyen to evacuate their buildings due to an approaching snowstorm was issued just before noon Wednesday by The Governor of Svalbard. Residents in Lia beneath Sukkertoppen, where an avalanche struck last Dec. 19 after a similar storm of greater intensity, are being allowed to remain pending a further assessment of the situation at 2 p.m.
“According to NVE’s ratings Wednesday morning, there is a possibility of smaller avalanches in Longyearbyen, but not so that they will jeopardize settlements,” a statement issued by the governor’s office notes. “Nybyen will be most at risk and is therefore ordered evacuated. The road to Nybyen will be closed from school. The road to Huset on the west side of Longyeardalen will remain open.”