Norway monarch visits fire-hit Lærdal / News / The Foreigner

Norway monarch visits fire-hit Lærdal. UPDATED WITH MORE PICTURES: TRH King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway are in the historic village to see the damage and talk to emergency service personnel and locals. The weekend’s blaze, which one volunteer helper told The Foreigner was “shocking”, resulted in local hospital staff attending to 450 people. All that is left of this Lærdal propertyIan WilliamsSome 40 buildings were believed burnt to the ground, power supplies hit, the mobile network knocked out, and water had to be flown to the hospital due to huge amounts used tackling the blaze. Norwegian media report the destroyed up to 90 per cent of firefighters’ hoses.

laerdal, norwayfire, norwayroyals, kingharaldv, queensonja



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Norway monarch visits fire-hit Lærdal

Published on Thursday, 23rd January, 2014 at 11:20 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 25th January 2014 at 22:53.

UPDATED WITH MORE PICTURES: TRH King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway are in the historic village to see the damage and talk to emergency service personnel and locals.

TRH the King and Queen arrive
Left to right: TRH King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, Sogn og Fjordane County Governor Anne Karin Hamre, Lærdal Mayor Jan Geir Solheim, Sogn og Fjordane Chief of Police Ronny Iden.TRH the King and Queen arrive
Photo: Ian Williams


The weekend’s blaze, which one volunteer helper told The Foreigner was “shocking”, resulted in local hospital staff attending to 450 people.

All that is left of this Lærdal property
All that is left of this Lærdal property
Ian Williams
Some 40 buildings were believed burnt to the ground, power supplies hit, the mobile network knocked out, and water had to be flown to the hospital due to huge amounts used tackling the blaze. Norwegian media report the destroyed up to 90 per cent of firefighters’ hoses.

And As Norwegian NCIS (Kripos) personnel continue sifting through the ashes and rubble as part of their ongoing investigations, the government has allocated Lærdal municipality emergency funds.

How are people coping following the fire?

“Some people are staying with family, others at a campsite in Lærdal, and some owners have allowed people to stay in their empty houses,” local resident Ian Williams, who lives not too far from Lærdal, tells The Foreigner.

Buildings were burnt down randomly
Buildings were burnt down randomly
Ian Williams
“People are still in shock and stunned at what has happened, as well as how random the pattern of buildings that burnt down is.”

According to him, the townspeople are being very supportive of each other, helping out in any way they can.

How did the fire affect you?           

“We only lost our electricity supply, which meant no running water or lighting. But we’ve experienced this in past due to storms, so we always have a bag ready with candles, torches, and windup radios,” says Mr Williams.

“We also have a traditional wood-burning fire we can cook on, and have plenty of wood for heating. The mobile network didn't go down where we are, so you could see people driving out here to use their phones in the first couple of days”, he adds, “but it’ll be a while the electricity supply is working properly, so we try not to overload the system.”

Remains of a Lærdal property
Remains of a Lærdal property
Ian Williams
Otherwise, he says that life is slowly beginning to return to some semblance of normal.

“Things are better now we have electricity, which also means we have running water again due to pumps working. Children are back at school, shops and petrol stations open, so it’s not too bad from our point of view.”

Norwegian Royal Palace press spokesperson Sven Gj. Geruldsen informs The Foreigner TRH will be meeting Lærdal rescue personnel, hospital staff, and property owners who lost their homes and business premises.

See more photos on our Flickr page.



Published on Thursday, 23rd January, 2014 at 11:20 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 25th January 2014 at 22:53.

This post has the following tags: laerdal, norwayfire, norwayroyals, kingharaldv, queensonja.





  
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