Multiple People Unaccounted for as Huge Landslide Strikes Norwegian Town

At least 18 people were unaccounted for after a large landslide struck the village of Ask in Norway’s Gjerdrum municipality early on Wednesday, December 30, prompting evacuations and a large rescue operation, Norwegian media reported.

The landslide area – which is currently only accessible by helicopter – had destroyed or damaged 14 residential buildings, police said in a statement.

At least 10 people were injured, including one seriously, police said. More than 700 people had been evacuated from the area, according to NRK.

Efforts were being made to locate residents of the affected area that remained unaccounted for. “We don’t know if these people are in the landslide area, if they are away on holiday or are unable to contact police,” police said.

This footage taken from a nearby hillside shows the landslide, which police said consisted of quick clay, at the southern edge of Ask, located about 14 miles (22.6 km) northeast of Oslo.

The inaccessibility of the site “makes the rescue work very demanding,” police said. “It is currently not possible for rescue crews to enter affected homes in the inner landslide area.”

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who traveled to the site, described the incident as a “disaster” and said “it hurts to see how the forces of nature have ravaged Gjerdrum.” Credit: Lene Margrethe Moe Skoglund via Storyful