Evacuees returning after massive landslide

Evacuees have begun returning home after a landslide forced them to flee their homes outside Trondheim on Sunday.

Evacuees returning after massive landslide
Håvard Kjelstad (Photo: Ned Alley/Scanpix)

Fifty people fled from a rural area bordering Norway's third largest city on Sunday because of a massive landslide. By Monday morning, 22 people had returned to their homes. No casualties have been reported.

Local farmer Håvard Kjelstad didn't yet know on Sunday evening when he would be given the all clear to return. His farm is located a couple of hundred metres below the landslide.

"The cats and hens will have to look after themselves for a while," he told news agency NTB. 

Police evacuated several farms after the landslide struck just south of the city in central Norway.

The river of muddy black sludge stretching about a kilometre was moving through the area and geologists were sent up in a helicopter to evaluate the danger.

Meteorologists said unusually warm December weather may have contributed to the landslide, with media speculating that a violent storm across Scandinavia late last month, which dumped massive amounts of rain on Trondheim, may have been the trigger.

"Most people have got out in their own cars or have been bussed out," Kyllo said. "I think a helicopter was used at one farm to help the evacuation process."

No one was reported missing and no houses or farms were swept away by the sea of mud.

The affected area is on a rural peninsula and there was no danger the landslide could affect the densely populated centre of the city of Trondheim itself, which is home to nearly 200,000 people.

Rune Petter Vikan, whose farm is located about 500 metres from the edge of the landslide, told public broadcaster NRK that he was not worried that his farm would be hit.

"Not really, but we don't have any control over what is happening. It's not a fun situation, since more can suddenly go. We just don't know," he said.

A reporter with the local Addresseavisen said families in the area had jumped into their cars with a few possessions before speeding off.

"They obviously had only had time to grab a few things in the rush to get out. I saw one family with small kids just grabbing a pack of diapers as they left," Håvard Jensen told the paper.

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