Avalanche risk in the Westfjords Skip to content

Avalanche risk in the Westfjords

By Iceland Review

Four homes were vacated in Bolungarvík, in Iceland’s Westfjords, yesterday morning due to risk of avalanches. Snow layers are unstable and several minor avalanches have fallen in the northern Westfjords in the last few days.

A larger avalanche fell in Hnífsdalur yesterday, but no buildings were hit. Ten buildings are in the danger zone in Bolungarvík, but only four of them are inhabited. Fréttabladid reports.

“I was already at work, so this didn’t change much,” said Margrét Gunnarsdóttir, who received a phone call at 10 am yesterday and was asked to vacate her house.

“It has been like this since 1995 and I believe no winter has passed without us having to vacate our houses at some point,” Gunnarsdóttir said.

But she added that she is always a bit startled when she receives a phone call like that and that she doesn’t consider vacating her house an every-day event.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office is observing the snow layers in the Westfjords and waiting for them to become more stable before the inhabitants can return to their homes.

In 1995 avalanches hit two towns in the Westfjords, Súdavík and Flateyri, and nearly 40 people were killed. Since then precautionary measures have become tighter.

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