Norwegian rescuers seek for 10 lacking folks after landslide

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© Reuters. Landslide in the village of Ask, Norway

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By Gwladys Fouche and Nora Buli

OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian rescuers used drones and dogs to negotiate unstable clay soil to search for 10 people who were missing Thursday after a landslide in southern Norway the previous day swept away more than a dozen buildings.

Another 10 people were seriously injured after the landslide in the residential area of ​​the municipality of Gjerdrum, about 30 km north of the capital Oslo.

(Graphic: Location of the landslide in southern Norway – https://graphics.reuters.com/NORWAY-LANDSLIDE/qmyvmqyeavr/chart.png)

Conditions remained difficult as the clay soil was still too unstable for rescue workers, and temperatures reached -1 ° C (30 ° F) at 6:00 a.m. GMT.

The edges of the crater continued to break off, authorities said, urging people not to approach the area. Around 1,000 people have been evacuated so far.

"We are still looking for survivors," the chief of the police operation on site, Roger Pettersen, told reporters, adding that both children and adults were missing.

During the night, police used drones with heat-seeking equipment to search for survivors in the rubble. Helicopters have tried to bring down the military and police with search and rescue dogs on some structures believed to be stable enough to stand on.

A Dalmatian dog was rescued that night.

On Thursday, Pettersen asked locals not to send fireworks to celebrate New Year's Eve so as not to disturb the helicopters and drones.

Questions were asked separately about why building was allowed in the area.

Broadcaster TV2 said a 2005 geological survey by local authorities identified the area at high risk of landslides. However, new homes were built three years after the report was published.

In a rare public statement, King Harald of Norway said the landslide made a deep impression.

"My thoughts go with all those who have been affected, injured or lost their homes, and with those who now live in fear and uncertainty about the full extent of the disaster," said the 83-year-old monarch in a statement from the royal palace.

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