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Powerful Storm Hits Norway. Leaves Trail of Destruction

On Thursday, residents in the heart of Norway woke up to widespread destruction and power outages, marking the aftermath of the most severe storm the nation has witnessed in over 30 years. The storm brought with it hurricane-force winds, reaching speeds up to 180 kilometers per hour (112 miles per hour), affecting various regions across the Scandinavian country. In the vicinity of Laerdal, a charming town northeast of Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city, a bus carrying 14 passengers was swept off the road by the strong winds, fortunately resulting in no injuries, as reported by the police.

The storm caused flooding in several areas, prompting airlines and ferry services to halt operations temporarily. Reports emerged of educational institutions, roads, tunnels, and bridges being shut down on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Neighboring Sweden also experienced hurricane-strength winds during the night. The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute issued its highest warning, a red alert, for the western part of the Norrbottens district, adjoining Norway.

Dubbed Ingunn by Norwegian weather forecasters, the storm made its initial impact in central Norway on Wednesday afternoon and proceeded northward on Thursday. The Meteorological Institute had previously issued a red warning for the Arctic area, signaling the highest level of alert.

In Bodoe, a significant town in the Nordland district, several windows of a hotel were shattered by the storm, as confirmed by the police. The downtown area of Bodoe was later cordoned off due to potential threats to safety and health. The University Hospital of North Norway reported that parts of its roof antenna detached in Harstad, while images in Norwegian media depicted a helicopter landing area covered in debris.

Bjornar Gaasvik, a police spokesperson in the Troendelag region, informed the Norwegian news agency NTB that the public safety agency had received between 40 and 50 storm-related reports from affected individuals overnight, with more anticipated on Thursday.

Sigmund Clementz from IF insurance conveyed to the Norwegian newspaper VG that determining the financial toll of the storm damage was premature.

In Denmark, located to the south, the Storebaelt bridge, which connects two major Danish islands, was closed to vehicles carrying light trailers due to the strong winds.

The storm targeted the same region as a formidable New Year’s hurricane in 1992, one of the most potent storms recorded in Norwegian history, according to VG.

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