Hundreds of graves collapse after heavy rain

The heavy rainfall that has pummeled the northern part of Denmark over the past several days has not only washed away roads, it has also wreaked havoc on area cemeteries.

Hundreds of graves collapse after heavy rain
Heavy rainfall has caused flooding and damage in northern Jutland. Here, the ground has collapsed between Hjørring and Frederikshavn. Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix
Hundreds of cemetery plots throughout northern Jutland have collapsed under the weight of the rain-saturated ground, tombstones have fallen and the ground is so wet and soft that those who have attempted to survey the damage at their loved ones’ resting places have been forbidden from entering out of fear that they too will sink in the mud. 
Lars Erich-Stephansen, a dean in Hjørring, told Politiken that the scope of the damage from the last several days of rain was “completely unheard of”.
“It’s natural that graves collapse. But the devastating thing here is that it has happened to so many at once. We have experienced before that the weight of the saturated ground has made the plots collapse. But not to this extent – the amount is unheard of,” he said. 
Erich-Stephansen estimated that up to 700 cemetery plots throughout northern Jutland have been affected. He said it could take as long as 14 days to get things back into order and advised visitors to stay away until then. 
“It is to spare the families that we have gone to the press. The ground is so wet that visitors can sink and get stuck. The diggers say that in some places they have sunk 40 centimetres into the mud,” he told Politiken.

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