Svalbard avalanche moved house 260 ft (80 meters) – Video

It was a miracle that no more lives were lost, says avalanche expert. The saving grace appears to be because the houses were built on stilts.

A group of experts from the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) led by senior engineer Kjetil Bratt Lien toured the area hit by the large avalanche in Longyearbyen on Saturday.

The avalanche moved one house 80 meters. It was a miracle that no more lives were lost, said Lien.

A combination of snow and strong winds in hurricane force winds apparently triggered the several-hundred-meters-wide avalanche that hit several rows of colorful houses.

Currently, clean up attempts seem to be going smoothly, but avalanche danger is not over, says Lien. It’s snowing and blowing still, so we are not out of danger.

Approximately 180 people have been evacuated will not come home to salvage their belongings.

The devastation would probably have been worse if not houses had yielded.

To avoid damage to the permafrost, the houses had been built on stilts. According to senior geologist Frode Sandersen at NGI, that is an important reason why some of the houses slid down the mountainside without being crushed. If the houses had been better founded, they would have been completely shattered, says Sandersen.

This Norwegian website has two video’s showing the damage.
Two were killed in the frenzied devastation Saturday morning.
A child who was seriously injured in the avalanche died on Sunday.

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for these links

5 thoughts on “Svalbard avalanche moved house 260 ft (80 meters) – Video”

  1. What happened to those predictions 15 years ago (by “Whiner” and Gore) that we’ll never see snow again by now???
    Lesson learned yet?

  2. A downhill ride in your living room, that’s scary. Sorry for the two who lost their lives. I wonder why they would damage the permafrost if they made foundations? Or the houses might melt in and tilt during summer, kinda like an ice fish’n shanty sinks in an inch or so on a sunny day and then freezes down at night.

  3. yeah the stilts thing is odd…greentard idea? cos they dont do that i alaska do they? and they live on permafrosty spots?
    I would have thought the huge chill factor from air under homes would be likely to make the idea unthinkable..
    obviously they worked out a way to insulate against it.
    my home on low stilts is bloody cold in winter due to that
    it is cooler in summer:-)

  4. Those are tough people , living up there in total darkness from November to February.

    The alarmists will say the snow was caused by extra moisture caused by warmer water. That is standard operating procedure. That is what Mann tweeted about Boston’s extreme cold and snow last winter. Then we checked. The water was warmer well out to sea, (but not the absurd +21 F degrees Mann claimed), and the water was so cold it was actually freezing close to shore. There was actually less precipitation than normal; the deep snow occurred because the precipitation was all snow and none melted. Joe Bastardi even went to the bother of checking out the moisture content of the air, and it was below normal as well. Temperatures were the coldest ever recorded for the month of January. Nothing Mann said was true.

    Here is my post from last March where I first became aware of Mann’s tweeted excuse for our snow and cold:

    And here is the WUWT post showing Senator Markley repeating Mann’s falsified tweet like it is gospel.

    Alarmists seem to think that if they tell a story enough times it becomes truth. All you can do is play the same game, and hit them with the facts over and over and over and over again.

    The avalanche in Svalbard was tragic, but they had a storm as bad thirty years ago, so don’t accept the idea the storm was “unprecedented”. The end of the warm AMO still has sea-temperatures warm to the east, in Barents Sea, but to the south towards Iceland sea-water temperatures are below normal.

    I think it is when a cycle is changing from warm to cold that you are more likely to get the clashes between warm and arctic air-masses that lead to such explosive and powerful North Atlantic gales.

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