Landslide hits Norway sparking mass evacuation

Massive landslide sweeps away houses in Norway sparking mass evacuation as disaster is declared

  • Landslide hit the Norwegian municipality of Gjerdrum, near Oslo, overnight
  • Several houses were swept away, with nine people injured and 200 evacuated
  • No reports of missing but officials couldn’t rule out people in collapsed buildings
  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg offered her thoughts to the people of the ‘ravaged’ community 

At least nine people were injured and up to 200 evacuated on Wednesday after a night-time landslide in a small town, police and local media said.

Norwegian Police were alerted at 4am to the slip south of the village of Ask, in the municipality of Gjerdrum, 12 miles north of Oslo.

Photos show at least eight homes were swept away in the area, which was home to around 5,000 people. 

Some 40 ambulances were sent to the scene and evacuation was continuing as officials said there was a risk of further landslides. 

Norwegian Police were alerted at 4am to the slip south of the village of Ask, in the municipality of Gjerdrum, 12 miles north of Oslo

Following an assessment by geologists, the police decided to extend their original evacuation zone further south of the landslide, which is 700metres long. 

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

Norwegian media said up to 200 people had been evacuated from their homes and nine injured, though none were in critical condition.

‘Police are designating this as a disaster,’ chief of operations Roger Pettersen told broadcaster NRK.

Photos show at least eight homes were swept away in the area, which was home to around 5,000 people. Some 40 ambulances were sent to the scene

Norwegian media said up to 200 people had been evacuated from their homes and nine injured, though none were in critical condition

He added: ‘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.’

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

There were no reports of people missing, but officials could not rule out that there were people in collapsed buildings.

The evacuation has now slowed because the landslide cut straight across a road through the village, leaving a deep ravine which cars could not pass.

‘So there are dramatic reports and the situation is serious,’ Pettersen said.

There were no reports of people missing, but officials could not rule out that there were people in collapsed buildings

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 all those affected by the landslide.

‘Now it is important that the emergency services get their job done.’

The area where Ask is located is known for having a lot of so-called quick clay, a form of clay that can change from solid to liquid form. There have been previous landslides reported in the area.

Geologists from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate are currently assessing the site where the landslide hit to determine whether it is safe for rescue crews to enter. 

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