A massive landslide in southern Norway in the early morning hours swept away more than a dozen buildings, injuring 10 people and failing to report 15.
Houses were buried under the dark mud when the landslide hit a residential area in the municipality of Gjerdrum, about 30 km north of Oslo.
According to the police, around 700 people have been evacuated from the area. At least one person was reportedly seriously injured.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg told reporters that the incident was “a disaster” after visiting the website, adding, “There may be people trapped … but at the same time we can’t be sure because it’s New Year’s Day, which means people could be elsewhere. “
She said rescues could take a long time and described the situation as “so unstable that it is impossible to carry out any [rescue] different efforts than helicopters ”.
Pictures from the construction site showed a huge crater with destroyed buildings on the ground while other buildings clung to the edge. Two more houses collapsed into the crater in the afternoon, reported the NRK broadcaster.
Helicopters hovered over the area, lowering rescue workers towards the collapsed houses as night fell. Rescue operations would continue through Wednesday evening through Thursday, police said.
Police said in a statement about the missing: “We do not know if these people are in the landslide area, whether they are on vacation or otherwise unable to contact the police.”
The local community warned that up to 1,500 people may have to leave the area to fear the condition of the soil.
A spokeswoman for the Norwegian Directorate for Water Resources and Energy (NVE), Laila Hoivik, told AFP that the landslide was a “rapid clay slide” about 300m by 700m (985ft by 2300ft) and the “largest landslide of the last Time “” in the country.
According to the NRK, heavy rains in the past few days may have caused the muddle of clay in the region to shift and become unstable.
Fast tone is a type of tone found primarily in the northern hemisphere in certain regions, including Norway, Canada, Russia, and the United States. If disturbed, it can lose a significant loss of strength and collapse.
The Norwegian King Harald said the incident “made a deep impression on me and my family”.
“My thoughts go out to everyone affected, the injured, those who have lost their homes and are now living in fear and uncertainty about the full extent of the disaster,” he said in a statement.
Additional reporting by agencies