Fog and snow halted efforts this week to resume the search for the bodies of three people missing since a massive land slide destroyed several homes in Gjerdrum just before New Year. Local Mayor Anders Østensen said the slide area remains “an open sore” for the small community where hundreds remain homeless.
Search crews guided by drones and both police and military expertise had hoped to continue searching through the mud near the homes of the missing, who include two women and a 13-year-old girl. The fog and freezing temperatures made it difficult to use the drone cameras needed for surveillance of the search on still-unstable ground. Some of the mud has also since frozen, further complicating efforts to search in areas earlier marked by specially trained dogs.
Others still staying in local hotels since the December 30 slide hit at 4am may be reunited with some of their belongings. They’re not allowed to return to their homes but trained emergency crews aim to try to locate and bring back necessary items such as passports, eyeglasses, medicine, wallets, computer equipment, bank cards and some clothing. It may also be possible to airlift vehicles out of the area, so that residents who had to flee in the middle of the night can get their cars back.