Several missing after landslide in Norway

Several missing after landslide in Norway

"We will help in the search for missing people and securing buildings", operations leader Stefan Karlsson of the Gothenburg emergency services, told the newspaper.

Over 150 people were evacuated and at least five were injured after a large mud- and landslide early on Wednesday hit Ask in southern Norway, impacting several buildings, police and local media said.

By early Wednesday afternoon 21 people were still unaccounted for, according to the reports.

This aerial picture provided by the Norwegian Rescue Service shows the damage after a landslide occurred in a residential area in Ask, near Oslo, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020.

Emergency calls had come in from people in the Gjerdrum municipality, home to 5,000 people, saying their whole house was moving, Pettersen said.

According to police 10 people had been injured - one seriously so, who has been transferred to Oslo.

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

"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", police spokesman Roger Pettersen told a news conference.

Norwegian media said the size of the landslide area was 210,000 square meters. Norwegian People's Aid, a humanitarian organization, said it had sent nine ambulances and 40 crew members to assist with the operation.

Nearby homes and buildings have been evacuated of around 700 people.

In the meantime, the country's Ministry of Justice and Emergency Preparedness said the situation is being monitored closely. "My thoughts go to all those affected by the landslide", she wrote.

The clay soil in the area may have shifted due to the recent high levels of precipitation, broadcaster NRK reported.

"It is a catastrophe", Prime Minister Erna Solberg told reporters after visiting the site.

The area around Ask is known to be landslide-prone due to having a lot of so-called quick clay, which can change from solid to liquid form.

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