Norwegian geologists are constantly monitoring the stability of the country’s steep mountainsides, and now one in Northern Norway is creating concerns. It’s called Gamanjunni, located up a valley across the Kåfjord from Olderdalen in Troms County, and evacuations loom.
A new report from state waterways agency NVE warns that if masses of rock and dirt loosen and crash down on the valley below, it can set off flooding. Around 26 million cubic meters of mountainside would block Manndalselva, the river running through the valley, damming it up until it eventually breaks.
Around 20 homes are in the danger zone, with five of them under threat of being crushed and the others subjected to flooding. A landslide would also create a wave that would reach the Kåfjord in around two hours.
Local residents were called in to a meeting Monday evening, with all prepared for evacuation. Among them was dairy farmer Bjørn Inge Mo, who told NRK he had invested around NOK 12 million in farm modernization before a building ban was put on the area. “I’m very uneasy,” Mo told NRK. “I hadn’t expected that shortly after I’d built out I’d get the message the area may not be liveable and that no one else can build here anymore.”
Others also said they were uneasy, but local resident Otto Skogheim told NRK “it’s not something you go around thinking about every day.” Another mountain called Mannen, high above a much more heavily trafficked valley in the Romsdal area of central Norway, has also been threatening to fall for years, but hasn’t yet.