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WEATHER

Southern Norway hit by flooding and rail chaos

Heavy rains left widespread disruption in southern Norway on Tuesday morning with roads closed, rail services interrupted and homes threatened by mudslides.

Southern Norway hit by flooding and rail chaos
Photo: NTB Scanpix
Storm Frida has left extensive problems in its wake in Vestfold and Buskerud.
 
A substantial part of Mjøndalen town centre was flooded for periods during the night and several streets were evacuated by police due to the risk of landslide. The municipality has established a crisis shelter at the town hall. 
 
"Several dozen people have been evacuated from their homes in both Nedre- og Øvre Eiker. The fire department has deployed boats to help evacuate people from their homes in the city centre and Krokstadselva," said Olav Myrvold at southern Buskerud police.
 
A Sea King rescue helicopter has been put on standby to assist with the evacuation if there was an emergency. 
 
While there have been widespread reports of material damage there have been no reports of any serious injuries. Several motorists however ran into problems on the roads during the night as a result of the massive amounts of water which resulted from several rivers breaking their banks. 
 
Norway's national rail operator NSB reported service interruptions. The Sørlandsbanen and Randsfjordbanen have been closed as well as all traffic from Kongsberg, affecting services to Stavanger, Kristiansand and Bergen.
 
In Skotselv there were reports that water has rendered the roads impassable and that houses have subsided.
 
"Several roads are closed due to the large amounts of water and landslides. Among others, the E134 through Steinberg, RV283 by Horgen, Route 35 and RV22 are all closed." Olav Myrvold said.
 
"There has also been an avalanche around has also been an avalanche around Hermanbakken in Nedre Eiker and two landslides on highway 35 between Åmot and Hokksund."
 
Meteorologists had warned that 100 millimetres of rain would fall over the affected counties.
 
In the Vestfold village of Hof some 70 millimetres of rain fell in just one hour, according to YR.no.

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WEATHER

Partial lunar eclipse to be visible over parts of Norway

People in parts of Norway may be able to witness a partial lunar eclipse on Friday. 

Pictured is a lunar eclipse
Friday will see a partial lunar eclipse over Norway. Pictured is a lunar eclipse. Photo by Roger Starnes Sr on Unsplash

On Friday morning, the sun, the earth and the moon will align, causing a partial lunar eclipse. Friday’s celestial showcase will be an almost total lunar eclipse, with only a tiny part of the moon not ending up in the earth’s shadow. 

The eclipse will be most visible at 10:03am, when 98 percent of the moon will be in shadow. 

The moon will take on a reddish tinge as sunlight that passes through the earth’s atmosphere will be refracted back onto the moon. 

People in the north of Norway will have the best eclipse experience because the moon doesn’t go down until later in the morning at higher latitudes. The weather will also be better further north, according to forecasts. 

Residents of east and west Norway hoping for a show may have their views hindered by clouds. 

“If you are lucky, you’ll be able to see it from several parts of the country,” Randveig Eikhild from the Meteorological Institute told public broadcaster NRK

The best place to see the eclipse will be somewhere with a good clear view of the horizon, without mountains, hills or buildings in the way. 

For those in the south, where the view may not be the best due to the brighter mornings, there’s another celestial event on Friday that they will be able to witness. 

Once the sun goes down, gas giants Jupiter and Saturn will be visible in the night sky and very close together. Saturn won’t be visible from the north, however. 

“Jupiter and Saturn are quite close to each other and are beautiful in the fall. However, they are not always as close as they are now. It can be a very nice sight,” Pål Brekke, from the Norwegian Space Centre, explained to NRK. 

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