Norway: Rescue underway as more bodies discovered

A seventh body was just uncovered in Norway from the ground zero at the landslide in Ask Village, where rescuers kept on with the search. The village is situated 30 miles Northeast of Oslo. 

Norway PM Erna Solberg warned residents to prepare for more of these landslides due to climate change. This was after visiting the site where 30 houses were destroyed and several more remain missing after a hillside collapse that sent mud cascading down to the Village. Four bodies were uncovered on Friday and Saturday, while another three on Sunday. 

King Harald and Queen Sonja found time to visit the site and lit candles at the  Gjerdrum Church in commemoration of the victims. 

Also read: Melting ice patch uncovers ancient hunting arrows

Rescue efforts

Facing a dim Norwegian winter, rescue efforts have proved challenging in Gjerdrum municipality - located 15 miles northeast of Oslo. Rescuers are brazing with freezing temperatures as the hard clay ground is unstable and difficult to tread on. 

The air was swarmed by helicopters and drones searching the area before police commander Roy Alkvist clearance is given to enter any house. 

Rescuers are using bright orange styrofoam boards to enter the dangerous one. They were neatly laid out in the mud to create a domino effect as the rescuers did their best to reach the wrecked homes. 

Also read: Norway: anti covid measures affect funeral services because of declining mortality

The landslide as it happened

Emergency calls began streaming in from Ask village residents at 04:00 - the local time. Residents reported that their houses were moving. Several houses are teetering close to the edge of a deep crater left behind by the landslide. In total, 1,000 residents were evacuated thus far. 

Quick clay is a weak form of clay in Sweden and Norway that can easily collapse and act as a fluid when subjected to stress. Heavy rainfall showers could have made the soil unstable. Some have raised queries as to why construction was permitted in the area given the location. A geological survey conducted in 2015 described the areas as “high risk” when it comes to landslides. 

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Norway: Rescue underway as more bodies discovered

Ask, Norway

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