Dog found alive raises hopes in deadly Norway landslide

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A small dog was found alive in the rubble of the deadly landslide that carried away homes in a Norwegian village, raising hopes for rescuers who are still searching for three missing people. Seven others have died.

The dog was found late Monday “in good condition” in an area where rescuers had been working, said police spokesman Ivar Myrboe.

“It is a joy for us and gives motivation to further work hard,” said rescuer Goeran Syversen.

Search efforts continued in the landslide-hit village of Ask, 25 kilometers (16 miles) northeast of Oslo. Search teams with dogs went through the rubble in below-freezing temperatures while helicopters and drones with heat-detecting cameras flew over the ravaged hillside.

The village of 5,000 was hit Dec. 30 by the worst landslide in modern Norwegian history, which destroyed at least nine buildings with over 30 apartments. At least 1,000 people were evacuated. Some buildings are now hanging on the edge of a deep ravine, which grew to be 700 meters (2,300 feet) long and 300 meters (1,000 feet) wide.

The exact cause of the accident is not yet known but the area has lot of quick clay, which can change from solid to liquid form. Experts said the quick clay, combined with excessive precipitation and damp winter weather, may have contributed to the landslide.

In 2005, Norwegian authorities warned people not to construct residential buildings in the area, saying it was “a high-risk zone” for landslides, but houses were eventually built there later in the decade.

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