21 missing, buildings hang over edge of crater after Norway landslide


Ten people were hurt, one of them critically, and 21 people remained unaccounted for after a landslide in southern Norway swept away more than a dozen buildings in the early hours of Wednesday, police said.

The landslide struck a residential area in the municipality of Gjerdrum, some 30 kilometres north of the capital Oslo.

Photos of the site showed a large crater with destroyed buildings at the bottom of it. Other buildings hung on the edges of the crater.

Helicopters hovered over the area, at times lowering emergency responders toward the debris of collapsed houses, TV footage showed.

Around 700 people have been evacuated from the area so far, police said.

“I was woken by the sound of a helicopter flying overhead and then the police called, telling us to evacuate,” Kjetil Aamann, whose house is located just 50 metres from the edge of the landslide, told broadcaster TV2.

The missing people were from homes in the innermost area of the landslide, but it was not immediately clear whether they had been trapped in their houses, were away at the time or had managed to escape, the police said.

The area is not stable and for now can only be accessed via helicopter, a police representative said. (Frederik Hagen/NTB/AFP/Getty Images)

“This should have been a New Year’s weekend where we should have had peace and quiet and maybe should have worried most about COVID-19 and not whether we have missing persons from a landslide,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told TV2.

Solberg was due to visit Gjerdrum later on Wednesday.

The area remains unstable for now and can only be accessed by helicopter, said Roger Pettersen, head of the police operation at the site.

Masses of earth are continuing to move in what has been one of the largest clay slides in recent Norwegian history, Torild Hofshagen, regional head of the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, told a news conference.

Southern Norway has seen large amounts of precipitation in recent days, which may have caused the clay soil prevalent in the area to shift, broadcaster NRK said.

Latest articles

Mark McMorris out of X-Games Aspen after positive COVID-19 test

Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris will miss X Games Aspen after testing positive for COVID-19. McMorris's agent confirmed on Monday that the Olympic...

Facebook users’ phone numbers are for sale through a Telegram bot

Someone has gotten their hands on a database full of Facebook users’ phone numbers, and is now selling that data using...

Why won’t men wear their masks over their noses?

This is the web version of The Broadsheet, a daily newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Sign up to get it delivered free...

Clubhouse Adding Payments, Creator Grant Program

Davison and Seth also revealed plans to foster the app’s growing community of creators. In addition to testing a direct payment feature on...

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here