Landslide aftermath: Evacuated residents from 220 buildings in Gjerdrum start returning to their homes

Gro Staalesen - GjerdrumPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB
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Residents in approximately 220 homes were able to move back home on Friday after the landslide in Gjerdrum. Gro Staalesen believes the village will be able to bounce back from the disaster.

Staalesen lives about 500 meters away from the landslide. She was very happy to return home after being evacuated roughly a week ago.

“It was an out of the ordinary situation. People experienced almost a bit of a state of emergency. 

“I woke up at five in the morning and realized that something had happened. At the same time, we were told not to go anywhere, so I sat there all day and had the helicopters take off and land in front of the terrace,” she told news bureau NTB.

The Ask resident and the neighbors were transported to a hotel at Gardermoen.

Three people still missing

Seven people have been found dead after the landslide. Three people are still missing. 

Staalesen doesn’t know any of the deceased, the missing, or the bereaved personally, but she knows who they are. 

Her daughter knows the missing 13-year-old Victoria Emilie Næristorp-Sørengen through Victoria’s brother.

“She’s affected by it. She has been to Ask to light candles,” she said.

“But it’s a tragedy. We have lost ten inhabitants in the village.”

“Completely safe”

Although she lives fairly close to the landslide pit, she feels safe moving back home.

“Yes, I do. I am completely safe now that they have done the ground research,” Staalesen said.

At Gardermoen, expert personnel followed up with her and her neighbors.

“The atmosphere there has really been calm and decent… There was a network there, with the Red Cross, crisis teams, and doctors, so we have been taken care of well,” she said.

Back to normal

After several days in the hotel, she was ready to return to the apartment in the center of Ask.

“Now, I will calm down at home, turn up the heat, and clean away the Christmas decorations. Slowly but surely, I will start everyday life again,” she said.

“I think the village will be able to rise up. It is a wonderful village to be in. The spirit of hard work is strong, and it will remain a good place,” she concluded.

On Sunday, January 10, there will be a memorial service in Gjerdrum church in memory of the landslide victims in Gjerdrum.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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