Norway warns of risk of avalanches and landslides due to its most powerful storm in 30 years

This Friday, Norwegian authorities issued several landslide and avalanche warnings for the southern part of the country, which continues to be affected by bad weather that, according to authorities, could also cause road closures in the north at short notice.

Flights to and from the airport in the Arctic city of Tromsoe resumed on Friday after about 200 passengers had to sleep there due to hurricane-force winds and snow from the strongest storm to hit Norway since 1992.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute noted that strong winds are still blowing in northern Norway and warned that southern Norway is forecast to receive up to 100 millimeters of rain within the next 24 hours.

The Norwegian Directorate of Water Resources and Energy issued its highest avalanche alert for most of the south and center of the country for the coming days.

In southeastern Norway, police reported several road accidents due to icy surfaces, including a school bus that left the road. No one was injured.

The storm, called Ingunn by Norwegian meteorologists, arrived on Wednesday with gusts of up to 180 kilometers per hour in some areas on Thursday. High winds, rain and snow tore off roofs, caused flights to be cancelled, and left thousands of people without electricity.

The night trains between Bergen (west) and Oslo were suspended, as was urban transport in the most affected provinces, and almost all roads linking the west and east of the country have been cut.

In several towns such as Bodø (north), local authorities have closed schools and urged working from home.

Eldbjorg Moxnes, a meteorologist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, told the Norwegian news agency NTB Friday that while the extreme weather that Ingunn produced was over, “it still won’t be a quiet weekend on the weather front.”

A ship sways in the harbor as waves hit a pier during Storm Ingunn in Bodo, Norway, February 1, 2024 (NTB/Per-Inge Johnsen via REUTERS) (NTB/)

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute announced on social network X that the storm had set a new national record for average wind speed. Almost 196 kilometers per hour were measured in Sømna, on the central Norwegian coast.

During the weekend, strong winds and rain are also expected in the neighbors Sweden and Denmark. A yellow or orange alert has been declared in the Swedish provinces of Norrbotten, Jämtland and Västerbotten.

(With information from AP and EFE)