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Government up and running despite damage

[ 2011-07-26 11:46]     字号 [] [] []  
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Norway's preparedness paid off on Monday as a supreme feat of logistics saw work resume at 15 relocated ministries less than three days after a bomb wiped out the physical heart of government.

Only three ministries were left unscathed by Friday's massive blast that left Oslo's administrative center looking like a war zone, killing at least seven people and leaving many traumatized.

Rigmor Aasrud, Minister of Government Administration, Reform and Church, is the woman in charge of rehousing up to 2,000 government employees who used to work in 162,000 square meters of office space.

"The ministries have plans for such a situation, they've thought about where you could be if something happens," a visibly tired Aasrud said.

"But we weren't able to imagine that most of the ministries would be as affected as they are. I've slept some hours, but not many."

The windows in Aasrud's own ministry were blown out by the blast, believed to have been aimed at distracting police from a shooting massacre on an island northwest of the capital.

Aasrud herself was out of Oslo when the bomb struck, but her deputy director-general Michel Midre was in his office finishing work ahead of the weekend.

"Suddenly there was a huge explosion, the windows were blown out," he said. "I took shelter and then stood up, at first I thought a petrol truck had blown up.

"I came out of the building and I saw people, a dead man, a woman with no legs, three or four people completely in shock. There was a woman completely covered in blood, it was like a film."

"All the ministries are wrecked," the half-Belgian official said. "For now we've found offices, and we have to work day-by-day to get back to normal."

He said it was a good idea for people to come back to work so soon after the disaster.

"It would be even worse to stay at home, it's really an incredible shock. I still have the image of the woman, the two dead men and all the debris after the blast burnt on to my mind."


1) How many ministries had to be located due to the bomb?

2) What’s the number of government employees displaced because of the bomb?

3) How many ministries avoided damage?


1) 15

2) 2,000

3) 3

(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Government up and running despite damage

Government up and running despite damage

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.