3 dead, 7 missing after landslide in Norway

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Jan. 2 (UPI) — At least three people have died and seven are missing following a landslide in Gjerdrum, Norway, authorities said.

A third body was found after 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon, and rescue crews are continuing with search efforts at sites where they think they are most likely to find survivors.

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The landslide, which ripped through an area north of Oslo Wednesday, is the worst in modern Norwegian history.

It cut across a road through the village of Ask, Gjerdrum’s administrative center, leaving a deep ravine and burying at least nine buildings with more than 30 apartments.

More than 1,000 people have been evacuated from the area, and more may be removed due to fears of future landslides.

Limited winter daylight hours have made rescue efforts a challenge, and so far only a Dalmatian dog has been found alive in the ruins of the landslide.

But Norwegian police have promised to continue the search and not to scale it down.

Local police chief Ida Melbo Oeystese said it may be possible to find survivors in destroyed buildings.

“Medically, you can survive for several days if you have air,” she said.

The cause of the incident is not yet clear, but the area is known for having a lot of quick clay, which can liquefy quickly in some conditions.

King Harald V, the country’s 83-year-old monarch, said in his New Year’s speech that the royal family had been moved by the strategy.

He, along with Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon, planned to visit the disaster area Sunday to pay their respects to the victims.