Three people dead after avalanche in northern Norway 

An avalanche killed three French skiers in their 60s in Norway's far northern region of Troms on Thursday, police said.

Lyngen, northern Norway.
Police have confirmed that three skiers have died in the avalanche. Pictured is a stock photo of the mountains in Lyngen. Photo by Kevin Bessat on Unsplash

The police district in Troms has confirmed that three French skiers have died after being hit by an avalanche in Lyngen, in the county of Troms og Finnmark on Thursday.

“According to reports, three people have been taken by the avalanche. The air ambulance has now landed, and a doctor has declared three people dead,” Troms Police District tweeted

The three casualties were part of a group of nine foreign skiers, public broadcaster NRK reports. The victims wore avalanche detectors which enabled them to be quickly located, according to NRK. The skiers were caught in the avalanche on the Kavringtinden mountain.

“The caller stated that three people were taken by the avalanche. The other six worked to dig out the three who were taken by the landslide,” operations manager for Troms Police District, Karl Eirk Thomassen, told NRK.  

Weather warning service issued an orange danger warning for large parts of Troms, which means a significant risk of avalanches in the area. On Wednesday, two people were also caught in an avalanche in Lyngen but were not injured. On March 30, one person was killed and seven injured in two avalanches in Lyngen.

Dan Håvard Johnsen, Mayor of Lyngen, said that the news was a tragic start to the Easter break in Norway. 

“It is an incredibly tragic start to Easter. This will leave its mark on the community in Lyngen,” he told NRK. 

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Earthquake felt throughout western Norway 

The earthquake, which took place on Monday morning, could be felt across large parts of western Norway and had an estimated magnitude of 4.6, according to Norwegian National Seismic Network. 

Earthquake felt throughout western Norway 

On Monday morning at around 06:33am, an earthquake was registered in the North Sea between Stad, off the Norwegian coast, and the Faroe Islands. 

According to the Norwegian National Seismic Network, the earthquake was measured at 4.6 on the magnitude scale

Earthquakes of such magnitude are rare in Norway and only occur every ten years or so in western parts of the country, Lars Ottemoller, professor of seismology at the University of Bergen, told local newspaper Bergens Tidende

Ottemoller added that earthquakes of such magnitude are not dangerous for those on land. 

Several residents in western Norway said they felt the quake this morning. 

“I was laying in bed asleep and noticed the glass was rattling, and it rumbled for a while. I thought it might have been a rockslide but then thought of an earthquake,” one resident in western Norway told public broadcaster NRK

“It was really shaking. I lay in bed and ran out onto the patio to see what was happening. They are building in the area, so I thought maybe it was a rock or earth slide, but I finally realised that it was an earthquake,” Another resident from Rogaland told newspaper VG

Oil firm Equinor said that it had shut down its Snorre B platform as a precautionary measure. 

It wasn’t clear when Snorre B, which produces between 30,000-35,000 barrels per day of oil, would resume normal operation, Equinor spokesperson Gisle Ledel Johannessen said.

“Our focus now is on the safety,” he said.