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Bondevik fears high death toll

«I fear this may be the largest disaster that has hit Norwegians in peace time,» said Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik.

It is particularly the many children missing that weighs heavy on the prime minister’s heart. Bondevik interrupted his Christmas vacation in Molde because of the disaster, and he now fears a high death toll among the many Norwegians who were vacationing in the catastrophe area.

«The extent of the disaster is just increasing hour for hour,» Bondevik said to the Norwegian paper Dagbladet. «It makes me more and more distressed. It appears as if this will become one of the largest civil disasters to ever hit the world, Norway included. I think about everyone who have lost their loved ones or live without knowing.»

Bondevik asked the public to assist in the work to get an overview of missing Norwegians and urged everyone who knows anything to contact the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

About 7-800 Norwegians are missing from the area. It is feared that many of these have been killed, but representatives from the ministry continues their work to locate Norwegians.

According to Ambassador Ragne Birthe Lund, eight Norwegians are confirmed dead and identified. The final identification has not been completed of the remaining five of the previously mentioned 13 dead Norwegians.

The ambassador believes that the death toll will increase, but can not confirm if more Norwegians have been found dead, because the identification process is difficult.


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