Norway is divided in two – NRK Troms and Finnmark – Archyde

Early Monday afternoon there was a large avalanche on the south side of Kvænangsfjellet in Troms and Finnmark. The landslide was large and affected parts of the road.

Kristin Storrø from the Road Traffic Center says plans were already in place to close the mountain pass due to avalanche danger before the avalanche started.

– But then it was only to be closed immediately, she says.

At 7 p.m., a new landslide occurred in the area.

On Monday there is a significant risk of avalanches over Kvænangsfjellet. On Tuesday, the danger warning is raised to a high avalanche danger.

Divides Norway in two

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will make a new assessment of the mountain pass at 12 noon on Tuesday. Up to and including Wednesday, however, a large avalanche danger was reported.

– If the weather forecast holds, it will also look dark for tomorrow. But assessments are made on an ongoing basis, says Storrø.

The station manager at the plow station at Kvænangsfjellet, Bjørn Leinan, believes it may be several days before the mountain reopens.

– Considering that there will be a lot of rain tomorrow and there have been two landslides today, things are looking bad. We need stable weather conditions, not plus degrees and rain, says Leinan.

Because Kvænangsfjellet is closed, Norway is divided in two. The mountain pass is the only road between Finnmark and the rest of the country.

The Norwegian Roads Administration’s camera shows empty roads above Kvænangsfjellet on Monday. Only the bulldozer is around.

Photo: 175.Nr

Can’t get the fish

The large amounts of snow and closed roads have created reefs in the sea for Karls Fisk & Skalldyr AS in Tromsø, among others.

The fishmonger collects most of the fish in Burfjord and has experienced closed roads on both Sundays and Mondays.

On Sunday, the E6 was closed due to avalanches. Then the car could go north on the ferry. In the evening the roads were opened so they could return to Tromsø with some fish.

On Monday the car had to turn around when Kvænangsfjellet was closed. No fish this time.

– Tomorrow will not be better, it will be worse, says Managing Director Karl Alberth Hansen.

At the same time, the fish they are supposed to have is frozen in Burfjord.

– But the quality is deteriorating every day, says Hansen.

Karl-Alberth Hansen

Karl Alberth Hansen in Karls fisk & skalldyr AS is not allowed to collect the fish frozen in Burfjord.

Photo: Svenn A. Nielsen

He says the passport ban affects both the business and the employees. The fish is both processed and sold there.

– We don’t get the fish that we should have had and sold to our customers. Now it was gold with the Ullsfjord connection. Then there would have been no problem with the south and north, says Hansen.

The Ullsfjord Connection is a project that has been planned for several years but has not yet been implemented.

Corona test at the border crossing

This isn’t the first time Hansen has experienced that Kvænangsfjellet is closed.

– We were traveling with avalanches one winter night before. In the worst case, we had to drive via Finland, says Hansen.

He says it is not relevant for them to cross the border this time.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has not been so easy to cross country borders. In March 2020 var Finnmark residents were completely isolated when Kvænangsfjellet was closed. Because then the border with Finland was also closed.

It is now possible to take the road across Finland. If you are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, it is open for quarantine-free entry. But you also have to refer to the negative corona test before entering the country.

You must also be tested either at the border or within 24 hours of re-entering Norway.

Heavy transport and buses can drive through Finland.

Roads closed in several places

Large amounts of snow and strong winds have led to road closures and the risk of avalanches in several places in the district.

In Målselv he became a conscript trapped between two landslides Sunday. In Arnøya, the county road is closed for the second day in a row.

Several landslides occurred on Magerøya in the North Cape and several roads were closed or blocked. On Tuesday there is a great avalanche danger throughout Troms.

Håvard Langmo, traffic operator at Vegtrafikksentralen, recommends that people pay attention to the weather forecast, calculate ahead of time and drive according to the conditions.

– If you have to drive, you tried to drive, but we encourage people who do not have to postpone their journey. You also have to calculate extra time and take into account that you have to stand in one line or the other, says Langmo.

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