A 38-year-old mother of five was killed when a landslide crashed through the family’s home during another severe storm on Norway’s West Coast. The large, modern house was destroyed but her children and husband survived.
She’d been reported missing after torrents of mud and rock measuring 100 meters long and 10 meters wide loosened from the hillside behind the house on Osterøy in Hordaland County. It hit during the dark, early morning hours and emergency workers found the woman’s body after they’d ventured into the structure.
“They dug her out and gave her first aid,” Tom Berentsen, operations leader for the local emergency services, told state broadcaster NRK. She was rushed to Haukeland Hospital in Bergen, where she was declared dead shortly after 11am.
A crisis team was attending to her family while police evacuated all neighbouring homes because of the danger of more landslides. They were allowed to return home in mid-afternoon.
The area had been hit by torrential rain as another major storm rammed Vestlandet. Roads were flooded, closing several all over Hordaland and the neighboring county of Sogn og Fjordane. Many communities were without power and the train line between Oslo and Bergen was temporarily closed west of Voss.
Police were urging residents to refrain from driving, and the threat of landslides and avalanches was high. More stormy weather was expected during the weekend, with winds predicted to hit hurricane force.
State meteorologists were also sending out warnings on Thursday for extreme weather in Northern Norway as well, with the Helgeland area also hit by power outages. Several roads, bridges and the airport at Sandnessjøen were closed.