Police have said that 10 people have been injured and 11 are still reported as missing after a landslide swept away more than a dozen buildings in a residential area of southern Norway in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Casualties as landslide hits residential area in Norway: The police went on to say in a statement that more than 900 people have been evacuated from the area in the municipality of Gjerdrum, which is approximately 30kms north from the capital city of Oslo. Rescue workers are still at the scene looking for adults and children who were feared to be trapped in the mud and debris from the landslide.
Police spokesman Roger Pettersen told a news conference that “We are quite certain that there are people in the affected area, but we don’t know if all 11 are there or if the number is smaller. We’re still searching for survivors.” TV footage shows a huge crater with buildings at the bottom and some hanging precariously at the sides.
It was reported that two more buildings fell into the crater on Wednesday afternoon. Norway’s King Harald,who is 83, released a statement from the Royal Palace saying “My thoughts are with all those who are affected, injured or have lost their homes and those who now live in fear and uncertainty of the full extent of the catastrophe.”
Prime Minister Erna Solberg told reporters after visiting the site that “There could be people trapped… but at the same time we can’t be sure because it is the New Year’s holiday, which means people could be elsewhere.”
Local resident Oeystein Gjerdrum, 68, said “There were two massive tremors that lasted for a long while and I assumed it was snow being cleared or something like that. Then the power suddenly went out, and a neighbour came to the door and said we needed to evacuate, so I woke up my three grandchildren and told them to get dressed quickly.” Toril Hofshagen, the regional head of the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, told a news conference that the earth is still moving which is hampering the rescue attempts.
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