Avalanche on Svalbard Arctic archipelago kills one man

by Reuters
Saturday, 19 December 2015 15:58 GMT

OSLO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - A man was killed on Saturday when an avalanche hit the Norwegian town of Longyearbyen, the biggest settlement on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, roughly midway between the North Pole and the northernmost tip of Europe, local authorities said.

The avalanche occurred at about 11 a.m. (0900 GMT), engulfing about 10 houses in the town, which has some 2,000 inhabitants.

"A man in his forties is confirmed dead after an avalanche in Longyearbyen. The man was a resident of Longyearbyen," the office of the governor of Svalbard said on its website.

Several people were taken to hospital, and more houses were evacuated in case of further avalanches.

Around 100 people were involved in the rescue operation, the governor's office said. (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; editing by Andrew Bolton)

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