Alta landslide wreaks damage

Geologists are studying conditions to assess causes and future risks

Norway - Landslide

Photo: Anders Bjordal / NVE / NTB scanpix
A large landslide went through Kråkneset in Alta on June 3, causing the destruction of eight structures. The landslide was was 2,133 feet wide and 131 feet high. No people or animals were injured.

Translated by Andy Meyer

Parts of the area around the landslide in Alta are still considered unsafe, reports Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). 

Throughout the weekend of June 6, geologists and technicians from NVE evaluated the area. There were fewer and smaller slippages along the edge of the landslide in Alta, but the area around the slide itself was still considered unsafe.

“We are very glad that NVE is fortifying its staffing here in Alta and [we] will get more specialists physically on the scene. We have good cooperation with NVE, and that is important for us to be able to support our staff with their expertise,” Mayor Monica Nielsen said.

She hopes the analyses will give an indication of why the landslide happened.

NVE is now mapping the sea floor where the landmass slid out, as well as the slide area itself.

“The analyses that have been done up to now show that the ‘quick clay’ slide has not affected the stability of other areas than where the landslide occurred,” said NVE regional director Knut Aune Hoseth.

There is a lot of quick clay in Alta, but NVE estimates that it is improbable that there will be other similar slides in other areas of the municipality.

The large quick clay slide occurred at Kråkeneset in Alta on the afternoon of June 3. The slide was 2,133 feet wide and 131 feet high. No persons or animals were injured, but eight buildings were taken in the slide.

This article originally appeared in the June 12, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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