A small group of hardy Norwegians were evacuated once again this week from their homes at the bottom of the unstable mountainside known as Mannen, in a valley in Romsdalen. It’s their seventh evacuation in recent years.
Geologists sent out warnings earlier this week and then raised them to the so-called “red alert” level. On Thursday, several boulders rumbled down the mountainside, followed by landslides that set off clouds of dust and gravel.
Movement within the mountain has been so great that it warranted the red-alert that’s always followed by evacuation. Geologists at Norway’s state agency NVE told state broadcaster NRK that they were surprised by the suddenly high level of activity on their monitors that record movement of the mountain at all times.
They attributed the movement to the rain that’s been falling in the area after a prolonged period of drought during the summer. “The small amounts of rain have yielded very strong reactions in the mountain,” geologist Lars Harald Blikra told NRK. He and colleagues fear parts of the mountainside will break away and crash to the valley below.