Lovatnet: The Beauty Spot with a Tragic History

Lovatnet: The Beauty Spot with a Tragic History

This tourist hotspot is 1 of the most beautiful sites in Norway, but it hides a tragic top secret. Right here is the story of the Lovatnet tragedy, and the chance of it taking place yet again.

The Norwegian fjrods are identified globally for their beautiful normal beauty. Extended just before mass tourism, the secret of the fjords captivated European royals from significantly and huge.

Moody scene at Lake Lovatnet in Norway.

Right now, the natural elegance of the Norwegian fjords is no magic formula. Fuelled by excellent photography shared on social media, fjord Norway is swamped by global guests each and every summer season.

1 of those sites to have enjoyed a strengthen in popularity is Lovatnet lake in the vicinity of Loen on the Nordfjord. Its proximity to the Olden cruise port and the Loen Skylift implies additional persons than ever ahead of are visiting the lake.

1 look at the photographs from Lovatnet (also recognized as Loenvatnet) and you’ll before long see why the glacial lake has come to be so common. It is simply beautiful.

Guiding the excellent appears to be

But there is a risk at Lovatnet that’s concealed in simple sight. Those exact same steep mountains that lend the lake its remarkable landscape are also accountable for tragedy.

Lovatnet lake in fjord Norway.

If you know wherever to look, you will see a couple of scars in the rock on the mountainside. They are the most clear hint as to what transpired below several instances in excess of the very last 100 a long time.

At the commencing of the 20th century, two modest farming settlements Bødal and Nesdal ended up flourishing. There had been fantastic farming circumstances and tourism numbers were being on the up. But then, it all changed.

The Lovatnet rockslides

Amongst 1900 and 1950, various rockslides from the mountain Ramnefjellet plunged into the serene water at the southern stop of the lake building fatal tsunami waves.

There had been warning indicators. The amount of rockfalls from the 1,493-metre-substantial Ramnefjellet were being rising. But several experienced predicted what would materialize following.

In 1936, a total of 74 persons lost their life. What manufactured the catastrophe even more durable to swallow was that it arrived just 31 years after a very similar incident. What problems locals is that geologists are practically absolutely sure it is likely to materialize again just one working day.

Jostedalsbreen glacier feeds Lovatnet lake.
Jostedalsbreen glacier feeds Lovatnet lake.

The 1905 tragedy at Lovatnet

In 1905, a rockslide of 350,000 cubic metres fell into the lake from a peak of approximately 500 metres.

The ensuing waves, which achieved a top of above 40 metres, killed 50 percent the populace of two lakeside villages. In complete, 61 people died and 60 houses were being wrecked alongside with a lot of boats and boathouses. The remaining wave tossed the vacationer boat ‘Lodalen’ 300 metres inland.

However, geologists that researched the 1905 incident made the decision the chance of a repeat was smaller. This meant that farms and villages were being rebuilt by the lake, albeit a little better up. It was an error of judgement that would establish incredibly expensive indeed.

The 1936 tragedy at Lovatnet

Soon after several years of no action on the mountain, the 1930s noticed fractures develop and a range of small rockslides manifest. Continue to, with the settlements possessing been rebuilt bigger up, folks didn’t experience at possibility inspite of the typical rockfalls.

In 1936, more than a single million cubic metres of rock fell from a top of additional than 800 metres into the lake. The effect of this rock on the lake made three tsunami waves, which arrived at land with nearly no warning.


The problems brought about was enormous. As the waves crashed onto land, they ruined 16 farms and several other buildings including a electric power station, sawmill and workshop. In total, 74 persons lost their lives, with numerous far more dealing with wreck.

Lovatnet right now

Remarkably, there a couple farmers living on the shores of Lovatnet these days. Nevertheless, due to the hazards posed by the mountains, land use and progress is strictly managed.

The scars in the landscape are plainly visible and have been the subject matter of several scientific research.

Complex checking devices and evacuation strategies are now in spot. That intended that adequate warning if—or instead when—a repeat incident occurs ought to be attainable.

Is it harmless to visit Lovatnet?

Situated at the interior stop of the Nordfjord close to two glaciers and the lately-opened Loen Skylift, Lovatnet has a great deal to bring in the curious tourist. But is it safe to go to the space?

Lovatnet lake in Fjord Norway.

Given the state-of-the-art checking and warning techniques now in area, I would counsel that Lovatnet is a relatively risk-free location to go to. There are lots of other components of Norway with a similar threat profile, particularly in the fjord region.

The chance can broadly be in comparison to checking out an earthquake-vulnerable city these as San Francisco. We know a big earthquake is likely to occur at some stage, but that isn’t going to quit vacationers flocking to the metropolis yr-spherical.

For the curious, the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Security publishes and regularly updates an Analyses of Crisis Scenarios document. This is a comprehensive risk and hazard assessment document that looks at situation organizing for pretty distinct eventualities ‘likely’ to happen in Norway.

This contains the hazard of a rockslide triggering a tsunami wave. In accordance to the investigation, the chance of these an incident in a single of the 26 areas recognized in the report more than the coming 100 yrs is believed at 40{c5466d9839d9660ad83a95a07074dd6b0a7efe56d69bf04927ce209c5d4dfaeb}.

Have you visited Lovatnet? Allow us know your views and ordeals on the place in the reviews.