Natural Resources

Avalanches

Date: March 1, 1935

Location: Okak

Easting: 561000

Northing: 6388100

Latitude: 57° 33' 00" N

Longitude: 61° 58' 00" W

Fatalities: 2

Injuries: 11

Source: Moravian Mission Quarterly

Many parts of the coast of Labrador are mountainous, and are subject to heavy snow fall. Many avalanches likely occur in these settings, but because of the very few people living in these places, and the lack of an adequate written record, little is known about them. For some time the only incident we knew about was reported in the Moravian Mission Quarterly of 1935. The Reverend George Harp, based himself in Hebron, wrote of a tragedy that struck the Okak people, at a place known as Udlik, roughly 20 kilometres south from the community of Okak.

According to Rev. Harp

"A very distressing accident...A great mass of snow rolled down a slope, went through one end of a house, and out the other, carrying everybody and everything with it. One little child had a broken leg, others were almost smothered. An old woman at a sewing machine escaped unhurt, though the machine was smashed to pieces"

Eleven were injured, and Ida Kohlmeister and Karoline Uvloriak were killed. The 1934 maps of EP Wheeler, the well known geologist, show a single house on the coast at Ublik, lying at the base of a 100 m high hill.

 
Last Updated:
This page and all contents are copyright, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, all rights reserved.