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Extreme Weather and Heavy Rains from Storm "Hans" Stops Norway and Other Scandinavian Countries

storm Hans, extreme weather, heavy rains, Scandinavia, Norway, disruptions, travel, natural catastrophe NORWAY
Map with orange and yellow danger warnings. (Photo: Courtesy of MET.no)

Over the past two days, extreme weather conditions and heavy rainfall have swept across Scandinavia, causing significant disruptions and bringing parts of Southern and Eastern Norway to a standstill. Local ferries, flights, and several train services have been cancelled, and numerous roads are closed.​


This exceptional weather event has led to significant travel disruptions and a substantial natural catastrophe in most areas of Norway, impacting locals and tourists. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute Meteorologisk institutt - MET, anticipating further heavy rainfall on Tuesday, 9th August, has issued a red warning for floods and landslides in a substantial part of the country. In neighbouring Sweden, a storm resulted in a train derailment.

National Warning Alert

Since Monday, 8th August, local authorities in Eastern and Southern Norway have activated their crisis teams in full readiness. The national warning system sends multiple alerts to mobile phones, including text messages and links to additional local information. In the Gran municipality, a river north of Oslo overflowed its banks, necessitating resident evacuations. Local authorities are conducting door-to-door evacuations, a process also implemented in Vågå and Søndre Land municipalities. In Norway's capital city, Oslo, numerous streets are already submerged.

Public Transport Disruptions

Public transport services are currently unavailable in many regions of Norway, with some cancellations announced in advance. Ferry operator Color Line, servicing routes between Kristiansand and Hirtshals and between Larvik and Hirtshals, has cancelled sailings until Tuesday. Similarly, Fjordline has cancelled their afternoon route from Kristiansand to Hirtshals.

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The railway line between Hamar and Lillehammer will remain closed until Tuesday, affecting several other train connections, including the Oslo-Trondheim route. The Rauma railway line, connecting Åndalsnes with the Oslo-Trondheim line at Dombås, is also closed. While airports across Norway remain open, airport operator Avinor expects numerous cancellations and delays.

Closed Roads

Multiple issues have been reported on the main E6 highway in the southeast part of Oslo, near Abildsø and close to the Tusenfryd amusement park. The amusement park itself has been shut. The high water levels on the road led to the closure of Helltunnelen on the E6 road near Trondheim Airport.

Many other roads still need to be made available. Even those that remain open may be impassable due to the considerable amount of water, so drivers are advised to exercise extreme caution. Opting to stay at home is the most prudent choice in the upcoming days.

Train Derailment in Sweden

One of the two passenger train carriages derailed in the town of Hudiksvall, situated 280 kilometres north of Stockholm. Thankfully, no injuries were sustained. According to local police, the derailment occurred due to damaged embankments caused by heavy rainfall and landslides. Stena Line ferries, operating between Poland, Sweden, two German islands, Norway, and Denmark, had to suspend operations due to adverse weather conditions. Thousands of lightning strikes were recorded in Sweden on Sunday.

Challenges in the Baltic States and Denmark

On Latvian television, footage showcased trees falling due to strong gusts of wind, reaching up to 108 km/h in specific locations. Golf ball-sized hail was observed in Apgulde, a village southwest of Riga, the capital city.

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In Denmark, police in the northeastern part of the country confirmed on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) that weather conditions are still challenging. The Copenhagen Fire Department advised people not to visit parks and forests due to saturated soil and adverse weather, increasing the risk of falling trees.

Low Electricity Prices

Since nearly all of Norway's national electricity is sourced from hydroelectric power, storm 'Hans' has also impacted electricity prices. The leading Power Market in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, Nord Pool, reports lower electricity prices over the past 24 hours due to significant rainfall.

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