Inhabitants near «The Man» will be evacuated again

The little Man The Man Rauma Rock slideThe little Man (veslemannen) Photo: Rauma Municipality, Arnt Olav Hønsvik Herjehagen

Despairing inhabitants near «The Man» will be evacuated again

After a night in camping cabins, the residents near the mountain «The Man» (Mannen) could return home again after NVE lowered the danger level to yellow on Saturday. But they can quickly be evacuated once again.


Saturday afternoon the danger level at Veslemannen (The little man), a part of the unstable mountain «The Man», is back to yellow after a night with a lot of movement in the mountain. At the peak, the geologists from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) recorded movements in the mountain of 40 centimetres a day the night before Saturday.

– The speed now is only seven centimetres a day in the upper part of the mountainside, and we see a dropping trend in the lower part as well. Given that, and that we have nice weather right now, we have decided to lower the danger level from red to yellow, geologist in NVE, Gudrun Majala, informs at a brief press conference at 2 pm on Saturday.

At the same time, the Rauma railroad was reopened.

Fears for more rounds this autumn

When the NVE set the danger at red on Friday, the police in Møre and Romsdal decided to introduce a ban on travel and residence below Veslemannen, and the Rauma railroad was closed for traffic. At the same time, the residents in the vulnerable areas were evacuated from their homes. All in all, this affected eleven persons that had to spend the night in camping cabins. This was the sixth time the residents have been evacuated from their homes since the mountain started to slide out in earnest.

Mayor of the municipality of Rauma, Lars Olav Hustad, tells NTB on Saturday morning that residents in the vulnerable areas are fed up by the uncertainty surrounding the mountain, and that they do not see an end to the situation.

– The residents have been informed a little while ago, and they express relief that they can move home again, says Hustad.

The joy can easily be short-lived. The movements in the mountains have come early in the autumn of this year, and the mountain is affected by rainy weather. Hustad fears for several more rounds of evacuation before the winter.

Sensitive to rainfall

Veslemannen is a relatively small but very active party of «The Man». According to the NVE, the mountain party reacts rapidly with increased movement in the event of heavy precipitation and snow melting, and the geologists have seen an increase in movements from one year to the next for several years.

– Monitoring of the mountain continues according to our routines for the yellow hazard level. The situation of the mountain has changed this year. We observe that Veslemannen is very sensitive to even small amounts of rainfall. Since this happened so early in the autumn it is likely that the danger level will be raised at a later point in time, says Majala.

NVE tried last autumn to pour water into the mountain hoping to trigger a rock slide, but have not given up that attempt. So far this year the affected part of the mountain has moved 1.4 metres.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today