Severe winter storm hits Norway with heavy snow, resulting in at least 2 fatalities

Severe winter storm hits Norway with heavy snow, resulting in at least 2 fatalities

A severe winter storm hit Norway this week, dumping heavy snow and causing travel and power disruptions across parts of the country. Dozens of people were left stranded on closed roads and at least 2 people lost their lives after an avalanche hit off the country's north mainland on Thursday, February 20, 2020.

At least 70 people were trapped at European route E134 near Haukelifjell-- a mountain area and a mountain pass in southern Norway after about 2 to 3 m (7 to 10 feet) of snow fell on the area. E134 is the most significant transport link between Haugesund and Oslo.

The road was closed for most of the week as well as at several other places across the south and south-central Norway.

Meanwhile, in the Svalbard archipelago which sits over 800 km (500 miles) north of the Norwegian mainland, two people died in an avalanche on the Fridjofbreen glacier on Thursday, February 20.

The victims were identified as German nationals who were part of a tour organized by Russian firm Arctic Travel Company Grumant. 

A helicopter and an avalanche dog were promptly deployed to the remote islands for retrieval operations. However, the helicopter was unable to land because of poor weather conditions.

Two other guides and three tourists were unharmed, officials said.

According to LifeInNorway, the national warning service varsom.no stated that the avalanche risk in the area was currently at 'moderate' status. A meteorologist said that there is 'no surprise' if an avalanche has occurred based on recent snowfall and windy weather.

Featured image credit: Ellen Jordal @JordalEllen

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