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Sol Survivors: Meet Solstafir, Iceland's biggest metal export

From writing about tragedy in their homeland to evoking its mysticism, Iceland’s Sólstafir are emerging as the country’s biggest metal export. They tell us how they have endured

On the morning of January 16, 1995, the population of Iceland woke to tragic news. An avalanche had hit the fishing village of Súðavík in the far north-east of the country in the dead of night, killing 14 people. Avalanches are frequent in Iceland, but they rarely result in the loss of life – and certainly not on such a scale.

Ten months later, on October 26, a second avalanche struck the village of Flateyri, just 20 miles from Súðavík. This time 20 people died, crushed by an unstoppable wall of snow and rock. With electricity cables snapped and the town plunged into darkness, it took rescuers two days to recover the bodies. The country went into mourning: Iceland was a small, insular place, and this was a terrible blow to the national psyche.


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