Police and local media said on Wednesday that a severe landslide destroyed houses in a village near the Norwegian capital Oslo overnight, leaving 12 people unaccounted for and 10 injured. Video at the scene showed that the entire hillside collapsed in Ask Village in Jidrum City, 15 miles northeast of the capital. The house was crushed and buried in the dark mud.
After emergency services evacuated the injured and tried to protect the still standing house, it snowed all morning. Some houses teetered on the edge of the crater left by the slide, and some fell on the edge over time.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg went to a village of about 1,000 people on Wednesday, calling the landslide “one of the biggest landslides” the country has seen.
Solberg told reporters: “It’s really an exciting experience to be here.”
She added: “The muddy situation is still so unstable that nothing can be done except helicopter rescue.”
Norwegian media said 700 people have been evacuated from their homes, and the city warned that as many as 1,500 people may need to leave the area for safety reasons.
In the evening, the police reported that 12 people were still missing.
The police said in a statement: “We don’t know if these people are in the landslide area, if they are on vacation or otherwise unable to contact the police.”
Police said ten people were injured. One of them was transferred to Oslo and was seriously injured.
The head of the operation, Roger Pettersen, told broadcaster NRK: “The police see this as a disaster.”
He said that people called emergency calls saying that their entire houses were moving.
Paterson said: “There are a lot of reports and the situation is serious.”
According to the Norwegian Water and Energy Agency (NVE), a so-called “rapid clay landslide” of approximately 328 to 766 yards occurred.
NVE spokesperson Laila Hoivik (Laila Hoivik) told AFP: “Considering the number of houses involved and the number of evacuated people, this is the biggest landslide in Norway recently.”
Quick clay is a type of clay found in Norway and Sweden that collapses and becomes fluid when subjected to excessive pressure.
Hoywick said: “The area has been investigated and it is known to contain fast clay. At present, the possibility of similar large-scale landslides in the area is very small.”
The Swedish “Daily News” reported that Sweden is sending specially trained personnel to assist in rescue work.
Stefan Karlsson, head of Gothenburg’s emergency services, told the newspaper: “We will help find missing persons and protect buildings.”
Norwegian King Harald said in a statement that the accident “left a deep impression on him.”
He said: “My idea is to be with all the people who are affected, those who are injured, those who have lost their homes, and those who are now living in fear and uncertainty about the entire disaster.”