16 February, 2014

Isklar presenterer: Skredet (The Avalanche)

20 years anniversary

In this episode you will get to know the parents of Olav (the young man you got to know in "The Fruit Farmer"). Exactly twenty years ago, they experienced the impossible, as an enormous avalanche wiped out their farm. It was known to be one of the safest farms in the fjord, but a giant wave of snow, ice and trees demolished eight buildings, tossing Lars through the house and completely burying his wife Gjertrud.

Snow building up on top of Folgefonna National Park. 

My knowledge and liking to the Hardanger region and its people grows by each visit.  If I tell this story right, you will be amazed too - it is right out incredible.

Avalanches are normal

Every year, smaller avalanches occur along the fjord. They are usually quite predictable, and hit the same places over and over again. Only this time, after unusual climatic conditions, a much more fierce and surprising disaster was awaiting the little cluster of houses on the skirts of Folgefonna National Park. It was one of the longest avalanches ever measured in that part of Norway, later to be called "the millennium avalanche" by experts.

The avalanche went diagonally from right to left. Nearly four kilometres from the rim to the fjord.

Would the family be able to move back? Well, if you saw the last episode you know the answer to that. But how could they survive 1,5 thousand cubic metres of snow ramming into their farm?

Hear the story from the people that were hit: See this episode - just choose your preferred language in the subtitle menu and enjoy.

Snow, ice and trees came roaring down from the right side in this photo. Click to enlarge.

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