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Flateyri is a small fishing village located on a narrow strip of land at the edge of the sea in the picturesque Westfjords, in northwest Iceland. The village of only 300 has been a trading post since 1792 and saw its heyday in the 19th century when it became a major whaling center and base for shark-hunting. The fishing industry has always been vital for the villages in the Westfjords, and Flateyri had successfully married this tradition with tourism making the village a very popular destination for foreign sea anglers.

Like so many Icelandic villages, Flateyri is located on the seaside at the base of a steep, treeless mountain called Skollahvilft. The mountain is but steeper than usual and remains covered with snow for much of the year making it susceptible to avalanches. However, no major incident had occurred until one October morning in 1995.

flateyri-avalanche-wall-10

Photo credit: www.ismennt.is

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