Destructive Landslide in Norway

Oslo, Dec 30 (AFP/APP): A major landslide destroyed homes overnight in a village in Norway close to the capital Oslo, leaving 12 people unaccounted for and 10 injured, police and local media said Wednesday.

Video footage from the scene showed a whole hillside had collapsed in Ask, in the municipality of Gjerdrum, 25 kilometers (15 miles) northeast of the capital. Homes were left crushed and buried in dark mud. Snow fell throughout the morning as the emergency services evacuated the injured and attempted to secure those homes still standing.

Some houses had been left teetering on the edge of the crater left behind by the slide, with a few falling over the edge as the day went on. Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who traveled to the village of around 1,000 people on Wednesday, described the landslide as “one of the largest” the country had seen.

“It’s a dramatic experience to be here,” Solberg told reporters, expressing particular concern for those still missing. “The situation is still so unstable with the mud that it’s not yet possible to do anything other than helicopter rescues,” she added.

Norwegian media said that 700 people had been evacuated from their homes, and the municipality warned as many as 1,500 could need to leave the region out of safety concerns.

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