Major landslide hits Norwegian village

The Local/AFP
The Local/AFP - [email protected]
Major landslide hits Norwegian village

A major landslide hit the village of Ask, northeast of Oslo, on Wednesday night, destroying at least 14 houses, injuring at least ten people, and forcing 500 people to be evacuated


On Wednesday evening 11 people were still unaccounted for, some thought to be children, according to media reports.
"We believe that there are people in that landslide area, but whether it is 11 or fewer we can not determine with certainty," chief of operations Roger Pettersen told broadcaster NRK.
Police received the first reports of the landslide at 4am in the morning. 
"The situation is very dramatic. There has been a major landslide and we are in the process of evacuating residents from the area," the local mayor, Anders Østensen, told the VG newspaper on Wednesday morning.
"Several of them have lost their homes, and they are of course having a tough time. There are many who are very upset and scared." 
The village also has an elderly care home, whose residents also had to be evacuated. 


Roger Pettersen, who was leading the police's response, said at 9am that all those believed injured had now arrived at hospital.
"The injured have been transported to hospital and to the emergency room. In addition, we have a retirement home that has been evacuated and extensive evacuation is underway for the homes that are within the evacuation zone.
Ten people were receiving treatment for injuries. The most seriously injured is being treated at Oslo's Ullevål hospital, while four who have lighter injuries are being treated at Akershus University Hospital. A further five are being treated at an accident and emergency department. 
Norwegian media said the size of the landslide area was 210,000 square metres, with the slide leaving a deep ravine through the village, which is home to about 5,000 people. 
Around 700 people have been evacuated from their homes, and the municipality warned as many as 1,500 could need to leave the region out of safety concerns.
Photo:  Fredrik Hagen / NTB / AFP
Source: Google Maps
Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who travelled to the village of around 1,000 people on Wednesday, described the landslide as "one of the largest" the country had seen.
"It's a dramatic experience to be here," Solberg told reporters, expressing particular concern for those still missing. "The situation is still so unstable with the mud that it's not yet possible
to do anything other than helicopter rescues," she added.
Erna Solberg offered her sympathies in a post on Twitter, saying: "It hurts to see how the forces of nature have ravaged Gjerdrum. My thoughts go to everyone affected by the landslide."


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