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30 Dec, 2020 14:18

Landslide buries sleeping Norwegian village, hundreds evacuated but 21 still reported missing

Landslide buries sleeping Norwegian village, hundreds evacuated but 21 still reported missing

Some 21 people are missing and hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes after a landslide ripped through a Norwegian village on Wednesday morning while people were still asleep, according to local media.

The landslide struck at around 4am local time on Wednesday, engulfing multiple houses with people inside and creating a giant crater in the Ask village in Gjerdrum, 19 miles (30 kilometers) north of the capital Oslo.

The crater measures roughly 300 by 700 meters and is apparently still moving.

Between 500 and 700 people have been evacuated from the area, with 13 injuries reported so far, including one person who is in a serious condition and being treated at Oslo University Hospital.

There have not yet been any reports of fatalities.

At least 14 buildings are said to have been affected by the event, which is now being referred to as a “disaster,” as announced by head of the police operation, Roger Pettersen, speaking to broadcaster NRK.

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But local officials say more buildings could yet be affected.

Police believe that several people may be inside the landslide area, while drones and helicopters are monitoring the site, although rescue crews have not yet been physically deployed in the affected zone, according to reports.

“The situation is dramatic and confusing,” said the Mayor of Gjerdrum, Anders Østensen. “We are working hard to create a safer environment for the evacuees.”

There are close to 50 ambulances at the site, while 32 dogs from Norwegian Rescue Dogs are on standby before they are allowed to enter the landslide zone.

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