Oslo – Rescue workers were still searching on Thursday for survivors from a landslide that destroyed homes in a Norwegian village close to Oslo leaving 10 people unaccounted for, including two children, and 10 injured. Work continued overnight after a whole hillside collapsed in Ask, 25 kilometres (15 miles) northeast of the capital. Homes were buried under mud and some houses were left teetering on the edge of a crater caused by the slide, with several falling over the edge as the day went on. “It is important for me to stress that we are looking for survivors,” chief of operations Roger Pettersen told reporters. “Now there’s daylight and that will help us in our work with better visibility,” he said. Police said one of the 10 people hurt had been seriously injured and was transferred to Oslo for treatment. One-fifth of Ask’s 5,000 population have been evacuated. Prime Minister Erna Solberg visited the village on Wednesday and described the landslide as “one of the largest” the country had seen.
The authorities issued an appeal to people not to set off fireworks for New Year’s Eve which could hinder the use of helicopters and drones equipped with thermal cameras. The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate said the disaster was a “quick clay slide” of approximately 300 by 700 metres (yards).
Quick clay is a sort of clay found in Norway and Sweden that can collapse and turn to fluid when overstressed.