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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Avalanche warnings in the mountains

Norway’s state meteorological institute was warning Friday of high avalanche danger in the mountains of southern Norway, following heavy snowfall earlier in the week and rising temperatures. Two persons were dug out of the snow at a ski resort in Ørsta after a slide  Thursday evening.

Both had skied off piste, away from the prepared slopes at the Ørsta Skisenter Bondalseidet and into areas of deep snow. Ski resort officials routinely post warnings not to do that, because it can set off an avalanche.

One of the two men, both in their early 20s, survived and a search and rescue operation was called off later Thursday night, when emergency personnel using specially trained dogs could determine no one else was buried in the snow or missing.

“There is very high avalanche danger in the mountains right now, especially in Nordvestlandet (inland from the northwest coast),” state meteorologist Bente Wahl told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). She specifically mentioned the areas of Strynefjell, Sunnmøre and the route along the rail line between Bergen and Oslo (Bergensbanen) as being in the danger zone.

Warnings were also posted for mountain areas in Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane, Møre og Romsdal, Buskerud and Oppland counties.

“It’s worst along ridges facing the west and northwest,” Wahl said. “The reason is the warmer weather and even rain coming in from the sea and strong winds.”

She said the winds were expected to die down by Friday night and temperatures would sink, lowering the danger through the weekend.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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