Item: Two destructive avalanches in iceland
Title: Two destructive avalanches in iceland
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1996 International Snow Science Workshop, Banff, Canada
Authors: Jon Gunnar Egilsson, Avalanche Department, Icelandic Meteorological Office, Bustadavegi 9,18-150 Reykjavik, Iceland, Tel: +354 560 0600, fax: +354 5528121, e-mail email@example.com
Abstract: This presentation will be case histories of two avalanche disasters in Iceland in the year 1995, resulting in the death of 34 people. Each avalanche hit a small fishing village, destroying many houses in the middle of the night. On January 16th the village of Sudavik was partly destroyed by an avalanche, killing 14 people, and on October 26th the village of Flateyri was hit, killing 20 people. Those villages are both on the North-West peninsula of Iceland, named Vestfirdir, whose history has during the centuries proved to be very prone to avalanches. Both avalanches happened during severe northerly snowstorms, that caused Widespread avalanche activity and damages. Both avalanches went much further than the hazard zone line had indicated, which is also true for 5 other avalanches in the area in the last two years. The size of the accidents and the bad weather had a big effect on the rescue operations, and the rescue efforts were a test for the whole Icelandic rescue system. Those two disasters affected the avalanche warning and protection system in Iceland, which has since been reorganized and strengthened. In the future one of the villages will be protected by defense structures and the other will be moved to a safer place.
Keywords: avalanche, avalanche accident, evacuation, rescue
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