Norway is vulnerable to rock- and earthslides crashing down steep mountainsides and onto highways. Another one occurred Monday evening, blocking the main E39 highway that runs along the country’s southwest coast.
The state highway department (Statens vegvesen) reported that several large rocks rolled down an adjacent hillside and landed in the two-lane highway near the county borderline between Rogaland and Vest-Agder north of Flekkefjord and south of Stavanger.
At that point, the E39 highway runs along the long lake Lundevatn. The road had to be closed just before 7:30pm.
Highway crews were dispatched to remove the heavy rocks, so the highway could reopen later in the evening. Highway authorties also sent out geologists to examine the hillside and evaluate whether any more slides were imminent.
Rockslides most often occur during or after heavy rain, when the landmass slides out under them, but the weather in the area was clear, dry and sunny on Monday. “The forecast is also good, but we’ll have a geologist make an evaluation as quickly as we can,” said Tor Oscar Walskaar of Statens vegvesen.