Second Landslide Destroys Road in Northern Norway

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A landslide destroyed a road in northern Norway
Photo: Anders Bjordal / NVE

The instability near Alta continues, as a second landslide takes out a road. The area is sealed off pending an investigation.

The shocking images and video of Wednesday's landslide in northern Norway made headlines around the world. Eight houses were taken into the sea by the powerful landslide measuring 650 metres wide, a few miles west of Alta. Thankfully, no-one was killed or injured.

A second landslide

Now, the nearby road has collapsed in a second significant movement of the earth. Local police said the landslide was “significant”. It is estimated at 30-40 metres high and about 50 metres in diameter.

There was no traffic on the road, the old E6, as it has been closed since Wednesday's landslide. However, the police confirmed that no houses, buildings or people were involved in this latest landslide.

Nevertheless, the images will cause concern for those living nearby or in other vulnerable areas across northern Norway.

The collapse of the old E6 near Alta, northern Norway
Photo: Anders Bjordal / NVE

No-one saw the incident

Because of the road closure, it's not known exactly when the slip occurred. Anders Bjordal, senior engineer at the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) took these startling images with a drone.

“You can't see this landslip from anywhere without a drone. During the early hours of Friday morning, a security guard heard a crash and saw large waves in the sea,” Bjordal told NRK. There have been two guards present in the area since the first landslide to prevent anyone entering the danger zone.

Read moreMajor Landslide Destroys 8 Homes In Northern Norway

Officials are not surprised by the latest incident. NVE had warned of several smaller landslides in the area following Wednesday's incident, which is why the area has been cornered off.

Houses swept into the sea in northern Norway
The first incident on Wednesday. Photo: Anders Bjordal / NVE

Investigation to begin

From Sunday evening, several professionals will begin to survey the area. They aim to discover the cause of Wednesday's major landslide and estimate when it will be safe for people to enter the area once again.

The work cannot start until Sunday because the area first needs to be cleared. During the weekend, efforts are still being made to remove debris from the Altafjord, which could cause a danger to shipping. The efforts are complicated by the fact that the land area is closed, so the only access is by sea.

“There will be a geotechnician and a drilling rig there on Sunday evening. On Monday morning we start planning and drilling to investigate the area. Then we will clarify whether this instability can extend even further up the mountain,” said Bjordal.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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