Landslide strikes Norweigan town leaving 10 injured and over 20 missing

A major landslide destroyed homes overnight in a village in Norway on Dec 30, close to the capital Oslo, leaving at least 20 people unaccounted for and 10 injured, police and local media said Wednesday.

Rescue efforts continued through the night to find residents missing after Wednesday’s landslide in the Norwegian town of Ask, police said on Thursday.

Karianne Knudsen, operations chief in the Ost police district, told local national broadcaster NRK that 10 people remained uncontactable and that a total of 31 housing units and nine buildings had collapsed, several of which caved-in hours after the landslide struck.

“We are still hopeful about finding people and saving lives,” chief of police operations Dags Andre Sylju told local media. “Time has been key during the whole rescue operation. The longer it goes on, the worse the odds become.”

The earthfall hit the town of Ask, around 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Oslo, early on Wednesday morning. Estimated to be 700 meters (2300 ft) long and 300 meters wide, the landslide created a huge crater.

The earthfall is considered to have been caused by so-called quick clay which may have been shifted by heavy rain in previous days.