Hnifsdalur is a hamlet on the Harpoon Bay and a
part of the town Isafiord a few kilometres to the south. In earlier
times, only two farms stood in the Hnifsdalur Valley and late in the
19th century a hamlet started developing around the fish
industry. The harbour conditions are not good enough for the larger
vessels, which took over from the small, open boats. Therefore, the
fishing vessels of Hnifsdalur bring their catch to the Isafiord
harbour nowadays and the catch is transported on lorries to the
factories in Hnifsdalur. The freezing plant was built in 1939.
Hnifsdalur Valley is short, narrow, and surrounded by steep mountains.
These conditions frequently create grave avalanche hazard during
winter and most of the bungalows of the hamlet were built within
unsafe areas before they were declared danger zones. This situation
has rendered most properties totally worthless and requires the
evacuation of the inhabitants when avalanche hazard exists.
The most fateful of the many avalanches experienced every
winter occurred on the 18th of February 1910 when a few houses were swept out
to sea and 20 people were killed.