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Victims increase in Norwegian landslide tragedy

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Rescuers found one body on Friday, two days after a landslide in southern Norway swept away at least nine buildings, police said, with nine people still missing.

Another 10 people were injured after Wednesday’s landslide in the residential area in the Gjerdrum municipality, about 30 km (19 miles) north of the capital, Oslo.

“One person has been found. Unfortunately, this person is confirmed dead,” the head of the police operation at the site, Roy Alkvist, told reporters, declining to give any details on the person.

A general view of the scene in Gjerdrum municipality after a major landslide occured a day earlier in Ask, Norway. EPA-EFE/Ole Berg-Rusten

Emergency workers are continuing their search in what Bjoern Nuland, head of the health team at the site, said was still a rescue operation. A search-and-rescue team from neighbouring Sweden was assisting.

Some 1,000 people have so far been evacuated from Gjerdrum, including 46 people from an area 2 km (1.2 miles) away from the landslide, after cracks were observed in the ground.

The landslide and the rescue effort have gripped the Nordic nation of 5.4 million.

Candles are placed at the outer edge of the landslide in Ask in Gjerdrum municipality, Norway. EPA-EFE/Jil Yngland

King Harald, 83, said at the start of his traditional New Year’s Eve speech on Thursday that the “tragic event leaves a deep impression on us all”.

“I feel with you who go in the New Year with grief and uncertainty. With you who have lost your homes, and who are right now despairing and do not see the way forward,” he said.

Main Photyo: Rescue crews are working in the landslide area where a large landslide occurred at Ask in Gjerdrum municipality, Norway. EPA-EFE/Terje Bendiksby

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