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

Major landslide hits Norwegian village
Destroyed houses can be seen in a crater caused by the landslide in Ask, outside Oslo. Photo: Fredrik Hagen / NTB / AFP
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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Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

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