Tuesday, June 15

Hundreds evacuated, up to 20 missing after Norway landslide

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This December 30, 2020 image released by the Norwegian Rescue Service (HRS, 330 Skvadronen) taken from a rescue helicopter shows destroyed houses in a crater left behind by a landslide in the town of Ask, Gjerdrum county, some 40 km northeast of the capital Oslo. AFP Photo

More than 20 people were unaccounted for, ten injured and some 500 evacuated on Wednesday after a nighttime landslide in a small Norwegian town north of Oslo, police and local media said.

Several houses were swept away in Gjerdrum, home to 5,000 people 25 kilometers northeast of the capital, in the early hours of Wednesday.

“Several homes have been taken by the landslide. Emergency services, with assistance from the Norwegian civil defense and the military, are in the process of evacuating,” Norwegian police said on Twitter.

Norwegian media said the size of the landslide area was 210,000 square meters and around 500 people had been evacuated from their homes.

Shortly after lunch on Wednesday 21 people were still unaccounted for, according to the reports.

“We don’t know if these people are in the landslide area if they are away on holiday or in another way unable to contact police,” police said in a statement.

According to police ten people had been injured with one being transferred to Oslo with serious injuries.

“Police are designating this as a disaster,” chief of operations Roger Petersen told broadcaster NRK.

He said emergency calls had come in from people saying their whole house was moving.

“So there are dramatic reports and the situation is serious,” Pettersen said.

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg offered her sympathies in a social media post, saying, “It hurts to see how the forces of nature have ravaged Gjerdrum. My thoughts go to everyone affected by the landslide.” — AFP