(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Oslo Rabi'I 10 1437 December 21 2015 SPA -- A child died on Sunday of injuries sustained after an
avalanche tore through an archipelago in northern Norway raising the
death toll to two according to dpa.
A 42-year-old man had died on Saturday when the avalanche hit a
residential area in Longyearbyen. Several people were injured and
were being treated in hospital.
Some houses which are constructed on stilts due to the permafrost
were carried up to 80 metres when the avalanche struck others were
crushed to pieces.
The evening before the avalanche saw the worst storm in 30 years
according to the Svalbardposten newspaper. Geologists estimate that
hundreds of tons of snow descended on each house.
Rescue teams used specially trained dogs to scour mountains Sunday a
government official said. Residents used snow shovels to search for
people buried under the snow but there were no reports that anyone
else was missing on Sunday.
"We've been hit with a huge tragedy" Sysselmann Kjerstin Askholt
government official for Svalbard said at a press conference on
Sunday adding there was still a risk of more avalanches after
further slips destroyed an empty hut.
Experts were looking for signs of further danger Askholt said
adding that the area had not yet been confirmed safe.
Around 180 people have been evacuated from Longyearbyen and Askholt
could not say when they would be allowed to return. "We have a very
special weather situation. Only when the wind and snowfall decrease
will we be able to be sure" Askholt said.
At least 10 people were also injured when the avalanche unexpectedly
hit on Saturday morning.
Svarlbard an Arctic archipelago administered by Norway has some
2700 inhabitants. Unlike on the mainland there is no avalanche
warning system on the islands.
02:25 LOCAL TIME 23:25 GMT