The Rissa Landslide

On the 29th of April 1978, the largest quick clay landslide of the century struck Rissa. Over the course of 45 minutes, large tracts of firm ground was reduced to liquid clay. Fifteen farms, two family homes, a cabin and a community hall were eradicated and washed into the nearby lake. 32 people lost everything they owned. One life was lost.

The first phase of the landslide started as a result of construction work down by the lakeshore. Kjell Karlsen, who lived nearby, grabbed his camera and managed to film parts of the landslide. Slowly, the slide progressed upwards through the terrain, eventually draining 82 acres of farmland into the lake.

Around 140 million cubic feet of clay had disappeared into the lake before the slide was over. This caused several tsunamis, flood waves that caused great damage to the village across the lake.

After the slide, the area was secured and cleared by experts. Five years later the fields were again plowed and sown. Nowadays, the traces of the Rissa landslide are barely visible.