Tragic avalanche in Súðavík remembered

On January 16th, twenty years ago, an avalanche fell on the village of Súðavík in the West Fjords. Fourteen people died, including eight children. Morgunblaðið photographer Ragnar Axelsson, one of the journalists who first arrived at the scene, remembers the event that united a country in grief. 

"The weather was so crazy that we could only reach Súðavík via the coast guard shop. It was unbelievable, sailing right into that storm," recounts Axelsson, also known as RAX. 

"Upon the arrival the atmosphere was melancholic. The whole nation was in shock. Spending that week in Súðavík is something I will remember my whole life with a lump in my heart."

Rax says that witnessing the sorrow of the people of Súðavík was devastating but that the media were well received. The area where the avalanche fell ws secured and journalists could not photograph search and rescue teams at work. 

"This kind of event becomes a part of history and photographs document that history." Rax asked one of the men in the search team to take a few photographs of them shovelling snow from the buildings that were hit. 

Here are a few of Ragnar Axelssons photographs of the tragic events. 


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