Landslide hits residential space in Norway, 10 injured, 21 not reported
© Reuters. General view after a landslide in a residential area in the village of Ask in Norway
By Nora Buli and Victoria Klesty
OSLO (Reuters) – Ten people were injured, one seriously, and 21 people were excluded after a landslide in southern Norway in the early hours of Wednesday wiped more than a dozen buildings, police said.
The landslide hit a residential area in the municipality of Gjerdrum, about 30 km north of the capital Oslo.
(Graphic: Location of the landslide in southern Norway – https://graphics.reuters.com/NORWAY-LANDSLIDE/qmyvmqyeavr/chart.png)
Photos of the site showed a large crater with destroyed buildings on the ground. Other buildings hung on the edges of the crater.
Helicopters hovered over the area and temporarily lowered the emergency services to the rubble of collapsed houses, as TV footage showed.
According to the police, around 700 people have so far been evacuated from the area.
“There were two massive tremors that went on for a long time and I assumed that snow was being cleared or something,” 68-year-old Oeystein Gjerdrum told NRK broadcaster.
“Then the power suddenly went out and a neighbor came to the door and said we had to evacuate, so I woke my three grandchildren and told them to get dressed quickly.”
The missing people came from homes in the innermost area of the landslide, but it was not immediately clear whether they were trapped in their homes, gone at the time, or able to escape, police said.
“There are many who are still not reported. This is a major disaster,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told reporters during a site visit.
The area remains unstable for the time being and can only be reached by helicopter, said Roger Pettersen, head of local police operations.
Torild Hofshagen, the regional director of the Norwegian Directorate for Water Resources and Energy, told a press conference that the earth continues to move on one of the largest clay slides in recent Norwegian history.
Southern Norway has seen large amounts of rainfall in recent days, which may have shifted the clay soil that predominates in the region, said broadcaster NRK.
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