Copenhagen, Denmark – Norwegian authorities said on Tuesday that “there is no hope of finding survivors” of a landslide that swept homes in a residential area about a week ago, killing seven people.
Three people are still missing from the December 30 disaster, which destroyed at least nine buildings with more than 30 apartments in Ask Village, located 16 miles north-east of Oslo. The landslide was the worst in modern Norwegian history.
“It is with great sadness that I should say that people have no hope of surviving after the landslide,” said local police chief Ida Melbo Oystis.
“We have done everything in our power. But there were significant forces in this natural disaster. Those who died died relatively early, ”he added, blindly gone.
Oeystese said search teams “are working to continue what everyone is missing”.
The police chief spoke hours after a small dog was found alive in the rubble, and raised hopes for the rescue team. The dog was found “in good condition” late on Monday, where the rescue team was working, police spokesman Ivar Murobe said.
Search terms were forced to evacuate the site on Tuesday afternoon before another, small landslide and no one was injured, police said. One rescuer, Kenneth Wangen, said the landslide was “not dramatic” and that the search term received advance warning by drones and other emergency personnel.
Officials said geologists would assess the site before the search could continue.
Since the original landslide, search teams with dogs have been gazing through the rubble in below-freezing temperatures, while helicopters and drones flew over a ravaged hill in the village of 5,000 residents with heat-detecting cameras.
At least 1,000 people were evacuated. Some buildings now hang on the edge of a deep ravine, which has risen to 700 meters long ((2,300 feet) and 300 meters wide (1,000 feet).
The exact cause of the landslide is not yet known, but there is much more accelerated soil in the region, which can rapidly change from solid to liquid form when disturbed. Experts said that strong soils, along with excessive rainfall and moist winter weather, could contribute to landslides.
In 2005, Norwegian authorities asked people asking that it be a “high-risk area” for landslides, but eventually houses were not built there in the decade.
In 1893, landslides in central Norway killed 116 people. It was reportedly 40 times as large as it was in Ask, where 1.4 million and 2 million cubic meters of land had fallen.