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UPDATE - Avalanche situation in northern Norway still critical after 4 fatalities

UPDATE - Avalanche situation in northern Norway still critical after 4 fatalities
2 more avalanches occur in region on Saturday morning


By Alexandra Enberg

IZMIR, Türkiye (AA) - Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said on Saturday that the deadly avalanches in Troms are a tragic start to Easter, urging people to follow the authorities' advice.

"This is a tragic entrance to Easter. My thoughts go primarily to the relatives and survivors of those who died after several serious avalanches in several municipalities in Troms county. The avalanches have also swept animals and buildings into the sea. The situation is serious and still unclear," Store said in a statement to the Norwegian News Agency.

He also thanked the local authorities, aid crews, and volunteers for what he describes as "an invaluable effort in the rescue work."

At least four people were killed Friday in avalanches in northern Norway, according to authorities.

After the deaths were reported in Troms, the police, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), and the chief medical officer have warned people against staying in the mountains as two more avalanches occurred in the region on Saturday morning.

National Rescue Center spokesman Frode Iversen earlier said: "There is a great danger of avalanches in the whole of northern Norway."

"These are severe, deadly avalanches. Avalanches in places where there have not been avalanches for perhaps a hundred years. This tells us that the avalanche situation is life-threatening," the head physician at the University Hospital of Northern Norway, Mads Gilbert, told NRK broadcasting, warning against going to summits in steep terrain.

Gilbert described the avalanche situation in Troms county as "extremely dangerous."

An avalanche can travel over a hundred kilometers per hour and weigh several thousand tons.

Andreas Tanem from the Norwegian People's Aid in Nordreisa was among those who responded to the avalanche in Nordreisa, where a foreign citizen died.

Tanem said: "I think it is unbelievably tragic, both for the tour group that has lost a friend, for the rest of the family, and for the local community.

Emma Julseth Barfod, the group leader for the avalanche warnings in NVE, said there are very unstable conditions throughout northern Norway.

The danger level is now 4, on a scale of 5. The situation is so serious that we considered going up to 5, but then we are talking about abnormally many and extremely large avalanches, said Barfod.

source: News Feed
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