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Norway’s Mannen landslide 'postponed' until next year after movement slows

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Norway’s Mannen landslide 'postponed' until next year after movement slows
Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix
12:48 CEST+02:00
Authorities in Norway do not expect a landslip at the unstable Mannen mountainside in Romsdalen until next year.

The Veslemannen section of the mountainside is now not expected to come loose this year, with risk alerts reduced from red to yellow on Wednesday.

Evacuated residents will now return to their homes, reports newspaper VG.

“We have decided to reduce the risk level to yellow. The basis for this is clearly reduced movement,” lead geologist Lars Harald Blikra of the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) told VG.

On Sunday, warning levels were increased to red and residents were evacuated from the area, while NVE on Tuesday pumped water on to the Veslemannen slope in an effort to initiate a landslide.

Residents are now free to return to their homes, Ole Kjell Talberg of Rauma Municipality told VG.

People living in at-risk areas close to the mountain have had to temporarily leave their homes on four previous occasions in the last four years.

The efforts to dislodge the moving ground on Tuesday were seen as a last possible attempt this year, with colder weather oncoming, thereby freezing natural water flow.

Although the water pumping increased the rate of movement of the ground, it was not enough to stimulate a landslide which would have stabilised the slope, writes VG.

Weather forecasts have now been borne out, with snow falling at the Mannen peak and the rate of movement of the land reduced.

The section of the 1,294-metre Mannen peak in the Rauma municipality in Romsdalen is one of Norway’s most closely-monitored for landslide risks.

Geologists refer to the unstable section of the Mannen mountainside as ‘Veslemannen’ (‘The Little Man').

Veslemannen is about 1,200 metres above sea level and has a volume of 120,000 to 180,000 cubic metres - about one percent of the total volume of Mannen.

Heightened landslide risk on the mountain dates back to 2014.

READ ALSO: Norway authorities take measures to start landslide at Mannen mountain

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