Nine injured, others ‘trapped’ and hundreds evacuated as ‘disaster’ landslide hits Norwegian town

HUNDREDS of homes have been evacuated in Norway and several people are missing after a major landslide engulfed their town.

Several houses were swept away in the small Norwegian town of Gjerdrum during the rockfall that happened while people were sleeping in the early hours of this morning.

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Homes have been emptied as emergency services scramble to the scene in GjerdrumCredit: Fredrik Hagen / NTB

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Some people are believed to be trapped in their homesCredit: Fredrik Hagen / NTB

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Rescue workers from The Red Cross prepare for rescue operation at the site Credit: EPA

Buildings and structures in the town, whic is home to 5,000 people 15 miles northeast of the capital, Oslo, have reportedly collapsed as police desperately search for survivors.

Volunteers from the Red Cross and the army have been dispatched to the disaster site.

The Red Cross said that it has sent 91 crews, local media said.

Chief of operations Roger Pettersen told broadcaster NRK: “Police are designating this as a disaster.” 

He said emergency calls had come in from people saying their whole house was moving.

“So there are dramatic reports and the situation is serious,” Mr Pettersen said.

We are considering whether we need to expand the area that needs to be evacuated.

Mayor Anders Østensen

Norwegian police said on Twitter: “Several homes have been taken by the landslide. 

“Emergency services, with assistance from the Norwegian civil defence and the military, are in the process of evacuating.”

Norwegian media said up to 200 people had been evacuated from their homes and nine injured, though none were in critical condition.

Mayor Anders Østensen said: “We must know if everyone has been evacuated.

“We must ensure that they have been taken care of. We have received many, and there is a big difference in how affected they are.

“Some were rescued by helicopter, others were notified at their doorstep.

“We are considering whether we need to expand the area that needs to be evacuated.

“When daylight comes, we will get a better overview.”

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Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg offered her sympathies in a social media post, saying: “It hurts to see how the forces of nature have ravaged Gjerdrum. My thoughts go to everyone affected by the landslide.”

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A rescue helicopter hoovers above the area where a big landslide hitCredit: EPA
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