COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Rescue workers used shovels, excavators, search dogs and powerful lamps to dig through tons of snow in total darkness Saturday after an avalanche smashed into houses on the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, killing one man and sending nine people to the hospital.

The avalanche tumbled down Saturday about 11 a.m. from Sukkertoppen Mountain into Longyearbyen, the main settlement on Svalbard, shoving houses off their foundations, flipping cars and burying people under yards of snow.

About 100 emergency workers and volunteers rushed to the scene in below-freezing temperatures, and at least one woman was reported to have been dug out of the snow.

During the winter, the remote archipelago, which lies midway between continental Norway and the North Pole, plunges into darkness. The sun does not show above the horizon from late November to mid-February.

One local man in his 40s died, and four children were among the injured, Longyearbyen hospital spokesman Per-Christian Johansen told The Associated Press. He said two of the children and one adult were in serious condition.

In all, 10 houses were hit by the avalanche, an official said.

The avalanche let loose a day after a huge storm hit the archipelago on Friday – one that the local paper called the worst in 30 years, with winds up to 60 mph.

Frank Jakobsen, a resident of Longyearbyen, told the Svalbardposten daily the avalanche was so powerful it moved several houses and poured tons of snow into others in the town of 2,000 people. He saw people carrying out Anne Kristin Jakobsen, 44, who had been buried alive but had banged on a microwave oven to get rescue workers’ attention, according to the daily.