Red Cross busy during Easter

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Norway’s Red Cross mounted more than 200 search and rescue missions during the Easter holidays but it otherwise was a relatively quiet Easter, with few serious accidents. Police could also report a decline in burglaries of homes whose residents were off on holiday.

Norway's Red Cross had a busy but manageable Easter holiday. PHOTO: Norges Røde Kors

Norwegians were getting back to work on Tuesday after the country’s traditional five-day Easter holiday. Many took all of last week off, heading to the mountains for a final round of skiing before the season ends.

Red Cross officials and state meteorologists had warned of severe avalanche danger and feared major accidents. Two people were killed in an avalanche outside Tromsø in northern Norway, but other fatal slides never materialized.

Red Cross volunteers were still busy, though, assisting around 900 persons during the week leading up to Easter. Jahn Petter Berentsen, national leader of the Red Cross’ search and rescue division (Hjelpekorps), said they conducted 209 missions, up from 190 last year. Among them were five avalanche calls, 21 search missions and 175 responses to calls from injured skiers.

“Easter started out relatively quietly, especially in southern Norway when the weather was grey and rainy,” Berentsen said. When the sun came out, the number of injuries increased.

Police in Asker and Bærum, west of Oslo, received no reports of home break-ins, a refreshing change from earlier years and not least after a wave of burglaries earlier this year. 

State highway department officials also reported no major accidents or traffic congestion as Norwegians headed for home Sunday and Monday. Two serious accidents earlier in the weekend were the result of drunk driving, police said.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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