Hjørundfjord has a population of approx. 1 000, divided among the villages of Strendene, Sæbø and Bondalen, Norangsfjorden, Bjørke and Viddal.
The Hjørundfjord is 33 kilometres in length, 2.5 kilometres wide at the outermost part and become narrower towards the innermost part of the fjord at Bjørke.
The fjord is 441 m deep just south of Stavset and 440 deep just outside of Molaupen. There are more than 70 small lakes.
Of the five largest known avalanches in Norway that have involved fatalities, three of these have occurred in Hjørundfjorden:
- 28 persons were killed in the avalanche at Skylstad on the 16th of February 1679 and 27 persons lost their lives in the Valset avalanche.
- Another 27 were killed when a landslide from the mountain of Otóla caused three boats carrying a wedding party to capsize on the 1st of January 1770.
In more recent times there have been two tragedies:
- On the 23rd of November 1971 farmers from Ytre Standal and Stavset were making a final attempt to bring home a few goats that had been missing in the mountains, before the hard winter weather would arrive. Nine men were caught by the avalanche from the Molaup snowslide. Mountain rescue dogs rescued two of them alive. However, for seven of the men, all in their prime of life, no hope remained. Many families lost both father and son.
- On the 19th of February 1968 an avalanche, known as ”Korsen” occurred on the Lissjedalshorn (1 310 meters above sea level). The avalanche was almost 400 meters wide when it reached Rise. 17 buildings were crushed. There were 20 persons at Risetuna that day, 11 of them were buried under the mass of snow. An older married couple and a small boy, 4 years old, were killed.