The Governor of Svalbard has decided to evacuate Nybyen. At the moment the developed areas below Sukkertoppen will not be evacuated. Both decisions have been made on the basis of avalanche expert assessments from The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). - We follow the weather situation continuously, and will have a regular contact with the NVE, Governor Kjerstin Askholt says.

- A new meeting is scheduled with NVE after kl. 14:00 Wednesday afternoon, and we will consider new decisions on the basis of the information we receive then, said the Governor.

Norwegian Meteorological Institute forecast increasing winds on Spitsbergen in exposed areas up to full storm (25 m/s) from south-east from Wednesday afternoon.

NVE's avalanche forecast is set to rise to level 4, which implies a very high risk of avalanches. We ask everyone to refrain from entering the terrain in Longyearbyen and surrounding area, neither on foot, ski or snowmobile, informs Governor Kjerstin Askholt.

According to NVE's assessments Wednesday morning, there might be a risk of minor avalanches in Longyearbyen, but not of such a nature that it can cause damage to the developed areas. Nybyen will be most exposed, and will be evacuated. The road to Nybyen will be closed from Longyearbyen School. The road to Huset on the west side of Longyeardalen will still be open.

The Governor urges the public to take necessary precautions, and to check the internet for updated information.