"200-year flood" - Southern Norway immersed in heavy flooding

Severe Storm "Synne", known as Desmond in UK and Ireland, battered southern Norway with heavy rainfalls and strong winds during the weekend of December 5 and 6, 2015. Torrential downpours caused heavy flooding across the affected areas. Road and rail traffic was disrupted and numerous people were forced to evacuate their homes.

The so-called "200-year flood" ravaged southern Norway wreaking havoc across the country on the weekend of December 5. According to media reports, Bjerkreim Municipality in Rogaland was hit the hardest. Abundant water amounts flowing through Bjerkreim have left the town of Vikesa immersed in water.

Rail and road traffic was suspended and disrupted across the affected portions, and power supplies were cutoff in several areas as several rivers have overflown their banks.

"The situation has been serious in several locations in Rogaland, but particularly in the Dalane region. The high water levels have knocked out power and reduced mobile coverage. When the roads have to be closed it becomes very difficult to come out with a mobile power supply," municipal official Reidar Johnsen said.

In the village of Feda in Kvinesdal, several homes were in danger and people were evacuated due to high risk of water overflowing. "Many houses have been excavated to their foundation. It is only a matter of time before the houses are pulled into the river," local resident Anne Kathrine Lohne said.

Over 100 people were evacuated in Eigersund in Rogaland, according to Iris Straume from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. A bridge collapse was reported near Kristiansand. Luckily, no victims have been reported.

"It was the worst storm in 150 years," Straume said on December 7.

A red-level warning, the country's highest was raised on December 6 in Rogaland and Vest-Agder, according to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate. The flooding situation will most likely reced to an orange level by December 8.

At the same time an orange level alert was raised in Hordaland and Aust-Agder, and was expected to decline to yellow by December 7. According to media reports, the risk of avalanches and landslides is still running high in Hordaland and Rogaland.

Video credit: Euronews

Storm "Synne", known as Desmond in the UK and Ireland, is the second storm to batter southern Scandinavia in one week. During the weekend of November 28, severe weather raged across the southern Sweden and Denmark with winds up to 130 km/h (80 mph), causing traffic disruptions, uprooting trees and damaging infrastrucutre in the region.

Featured image: Storm "Synne" batters Norway, December 6, 2015. Image credit: Ian Robinson via Twitter

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