Western Morning News
Rescuers still hope to find landslide survivors
NORWEGIAN officials insisted that there was “still hope” in finding survivors in air pockets five days after a landslide killed at least seven people as it carried away homes in a village north of the capital. Three people are still missing.
Police spokesman Roger Pettersen said search efforts in the landslidehit village of Ask, 16 miles north-east of Oslo, are still considered “a rescue operation”, but only bodies have been found in the last few days.
The region’s below-freezing temperatures are “working against us, but we have been very clear in our advice [to the rescuers] that, as long as there are cavities where the missing may have stayed, it is possible to survive”, said Dr Halvard Stave, who taking part in the rescue operation.
Search teams patrolled with dogs as helicopters and drones with heatdetecting cameras flew amid harsh winter conditions over the ravaged hillside in Ask, a village of 5,000 that was hit by the worst landslide in modern Norwegian history. At least 1,000 people were evacuated.
The landslide early last Wednesday cut across a road through Ask, leaving a deep, crater-like ravine. Buildings were left hanging on the edge of the ravine, which grew to be 2,300 feet long and 1,000 feet wide. At least nine buildings with over 30 apartments were destroyed.
The ground is fragile at the site and is unable to hold the weight of rescue equipment.