Evacuation lifted

Evacuation lifted

Top image: Happy UNIS students embark on the bus taking them to Nybyen. Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS.

Yesterday evening the Governor of Svalbard lifted the evacuation for parts of Longyearbyen, including Nybyen, where most UNIS students live. This afternoon 86 happy UNIS students embarked on the bus taking them home to Nybyen.

10 November
Press release from UNIS

On Monday this week the Governor of Svalbard issued an evacuation order for parts of the Longyearbyen area, including Nybyen, where the majority of UNIS students live. The background was a forecasted rain storm with gale force winds and heavy rainfall Monday evening, which the authorities feared might trigger rock falls and landslides in steep terrain, such as the mountain sides surrounding Longyearbyen.

UNIS together with the Arctic Student Welfare Organization (Samskipnaden) who runs the student housing, implemented the evacuation of all students from Nybyen to the new student housing facility Sjøskrenten and the UNIS Guest House. A total of 86 students were evacuated and the whole process took less than two hours to complete.

The evacuation was lifted late yesterday evening, but UNIS and Samskipnaden decided to offer the students one more night in temporary housing before scheduling bus transport back to Nybyen after classes were completed today.

And this afternoon a large group of happy students embarked on the bus taking them home to Nybyen.

Continuous monitoring
The Governor monitors the weather and assesses, based on expert advice from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) and UNIS, the danger of possible landslides and other natural hazards events, in the coming weeks.

The Longyearbyen Local Council and the Governor of Svalbard will together with NVE arrange an information meeting on 23 November.  The meeting will be addressing the evacuation situation this week and also providing information about the warning system and the surveillance of the avalanche danger this coming winter.

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