Ten people were injured, one seriously, and 21 people are missing after a landslide in southern Norway swept away more than a dozen buildings on Wednesday morning, police said.
The landslide struck a residential area in the municipality of Gjerdrum, about 30 km (19 miles) north of the capital Oslo.
Photos from the site showed a large crater with destroyed buildings at the bottom. Other buildings were clinging to the edges of the crater, with a house collapsing, TV footage showed.
Helicopters flew over the area, sometimes lowering emergency responders towards the debris of collapsed houses.
About 700 people have been evacuated from the area so far, police said.
“There were two massive tremors that lasted a long time and I assumed it was snow being shoveled or something like that,” Oeystein Gjerdrum, 68, told the TV station. NRK.
âThen the power suddenly went out, and a neighbor came to the door and said we had to evacuate, so I woke up my three grandchildren and told them to get dressed quickly. “
The missing were from homes in the innermost area of ââthe landslide, but it was not clear whether they had been trapped in their homes, were absent at the time, or had managed to escape. escape, police said.
“It’s a disaster,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told reporters after visiting the site.
“There could be people trapped (…) but at the same time, we cannot be sure because it is the New Year holidays, which means people could be elsewhere,” she said. said, warning that rescue operations could take a long time.
“It could take days,” she said. “The situation is still so unstable that it is impossible to do anything [rescue] effort other than helicopters.