Norway | The search for the last victims of the Norwegian landslide continues, with about a thousand still in evacuation

New landslides and fog hampered searches, police move to machine digging on Monday.

Norwegian The last victims of the devastating landslide on New Year’s Eve in the municipality of Gjerdrum are still being sought among clayey earth masses and construction waste. In a landslide on the southern edge of Ask, the municipal center of Gjerdrum, seven people died and three are still missing.

The headwaters are 300 meters wide and 700 meters long, deep gorge. In addition, an area of ​​about nine hectares fell under the landslides. Numerous buildings were destroyed in the natural disaster.

The evacuation area extended to the center of Ask, but last week relocation to houses in the southern and northern parts of the area was allowed. In all, there were evacuees municipal website according to 1,600.

Police has had to suspend exploration work for more than three weeks, often due to new, small landslides. The area has been monitored by aircraft cameras, but the constant fogs are hampering the acquisition of a surveillance image.

Work was last suspended last Wednesday because police say proper earthmoving equipment is needed at the site and construction of construction sites is still in progress.

“We can’t get anywhere with a hand game anymore,” the search operation leader Mari Stoltenberg evaluates the local newspaper Romerikes Bladille. According to Stoltenberg, the work is scheduled to continue next Monday.

Municipal reported that the total number of evacuees means that almost a third of the residents of the Aski agglomeration had to leave their homes. Stavanger Aftenbladin about a thousand are still evacuated and 440 of them live in the Olavsgaard Hotel, which has been converted into an evacuation center.

According to Romerikes Blad, the evacuation hotel was recently suspected of having a coronavirus infection but in this week’s tests, all residents have given a negative corona test result.

The Norwegian Red Cross continues to collect relief supplies for evacuees, albeit according to a precise list of needs. Facebook pages according to the local branch of the organization, it is devoid of not only cooking equipment but also “long cross-country skis and poles”.

So life has not returned to normal. The first funeral of the victims was held a week ago, and it is only a week and a half from the memorial service.

At the same time, some residents are arguing about insurance claims being paid by both private insurance companies and the state for their natural disaster funds.

However, according to the companies, compensation is not paid, for example, for the depreciation of an apartment if the building is intact – whether it is on the edge of a gorge or not.

Landslide was born when a large mass of so-called running clay set off in the earth’s veins early on Wednesday morning, December 30th. Norwegian channel TV 2 revealed soon after the accident that the area had been designated a high-risk landslide area as early as 2005 but new construction continued nonetheless.

Newspaper VG: n interview a geologist Johan Petter Nystuen in turn, estimates that clearing trees and vegetation out of the way of buildings has accelerated erosion and played a decisive role in the emergence of the landslide.

“Rainwater from roofs and street drains has flowed tremendously down the creek,” Nystuen describes the pre-landslide situation. According to Norwegian weather statistics, rainfall in the area was three times higher than the long-term average in December.

Construction has continued in the area until the landslide. A few hundred meters from the edge of the gorge, according to the local newspaper, there are 70 newly completed apartments, 56 of which have already been sold.

The buildings that collapsed into the gorge were also fairly new, built twenty years ago. Director of Gjerdrum Boligutvikling, the company that built the area Odd Sæther assured In an interview with HS immediately after the accident that all building regulations were strictly followed.

“I myself live just a few hundred meters from the landslide,” Sæther said. “I don’t understand what has happened.”

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