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Svalbard escapes winter rainstorm unharmed

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Svalbard escapes winter rainstorm unharmed
140 residents were evacuated ahead of the storm. Photo: Torgeir Prytz / NTB scanpix
10:18 CET+01:00
A violent storm forced some 140 people out of their homes in the in the Svalbard archipelago in the heart of the Norwegian Arctic on Monday night, but officials said no one was injured.
After a wet and windy night, the stormy weather on Svalbard had largely subsided by Tuesday morning. 
 
“It was basically calm and smooth throughout the night,” Svalbard Superintendent Ole Jakob Malmo told Svalbardposten. 
 
“We received reports of a minor landslide behind the dog run but it did not cause any real harm. It was a small slippage of ten to 20 metres,” he added. 
 
According to Norwegian weather site YR, over 40mm of rain fell at the Svalbard Airport measuring station near Longyearbyen, while Ny-Ålesund on the island of Spitsbergen received around 90mm. 
 
Due to unusually mild temperatures for this time of year, the precipitation came as rain rather than snow. 
 
Residents were warned well ahead of the storm and 140 residents, including 86 students, in the most vulnerable areas were evacuated due to the threat of flooding and landslides. 
 
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