Going ‘Under’: Europe’s first underwater restaurant opens in Norway

Marje Pelayo   •   March 20, 2019   •   5107

Courtesy : Reuters

Europe’s first underwater restaurant opens in Norway on Wednesday (March 20) with more than 7,000 customers booked in to eat among the fish.

Situated on the southern tip of Norway, the restaurant looks like a large concrete tube partly submerged in the North Sea. It is called Under, which also means “wonder” in Norwegian.

It was designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snoehetta, which also created the Opera house in Oslo and the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York.

Entering Under initially feels like going into a sauna, as wooden planks cover its upper section, but an eight-metre flight of stairs leads down to a large dining area that sits about 40 guests, walled by a gigantic transparent window to the ocean.

Snoehetta’s founder Kjetil Traedal Thorsen said the construction can cope with very harsh weather and is shaped in such a way that it can withstand what he called “the wave of the century”.

The restaurant is laid out so there are minimal reflections in the glass wall, which fills the room with natural light during the day, filtered by the greenish color of the water.

A full 18-course meal, based on local ingredients and seafood, can cost up to 3,700 crowns (430 U.S dollars) per person including drinks.

Under opens on Wednesday for friends and family of the owners and the first paying guests will be able to visit from early April.

There are only a handful of underwater restaurants around the world, mainly found in tropical waters like the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. – REUTERS

Soviet sub that sank off Norway in 1989 still emitting radiation

Robie de Guzman   •   July 11, 2019

Remote controlled robot taking measurements/ “smoke” seen near submarine ventilation hole under water | Courtesy: Reuters

A Soviet nuclear submarine which sank off Norway in 1989 is still emitting radiation, researchers said on Wednesday (July 10) following an expedition that used a remotely controlled vehicle for the first time.

The Komsomolets sank in on April 7, 1989 after a fire broke out on board, killing 42 crew. The wreck now lies at a depth of about 1,700 metres (5,577 feet) at the bottom of the Norwegian Sea, to the southwest of Bear Island in the Arctic.

Authorities have conducted yearly expeditions to monitor radiation levels since the 1990s but this year’s inspection was the first one to use a remotely operated vehicle called Aegir 6000 to film the wreckage and take samples which will be further analysed.

The scientific mission’s samples show levels of radioactivity at the site up to 800,000 higher than normal, the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority said in a statement.

“This is of course a higher level than we would usually measure out at sea but the levels we have found now are not alarming,” said expedition leader Hilde Elise Heldal of the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research.

Radioactivity levels “thin out” quickly at these depths and there are few fish in the area, she said. (REUTERS)

(Production: Ilze Filks)

163 Filipino crew of stranded cruise ship in Norway all safe: DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   March 25, 2019

Helicopters hover above the Viking Sky cruise ship as passengers are airlifted from the vessel that was stranded off Norway. | Courtesy: CHC Helicopter through Reuters

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) continues to closely monitor the rescue operations for the passengers of a cruise ship that was stranded off the coast of Norway.

In a statement on Sunday (March 24), the DFA said all 163 Filipino crew members of the cruise ship, Viking Sky, are safe and are helping in the evacuation of passengers

“The Philippine Embassy in Oslo, which is in touch with Viking Cruises and the Norwegian Rescue Center, reported that the ship’s 163 Filipino crew members are all safe and are helping evacuate passengers,” the DFA added.

Passengers also praised the efficiency and helpfulness of the ship’s Filipino crew in the evacuation, the Philippine Embassy in Norway said.

On Saturday, the Viking Sky sent a distress signal off the coast of Norway after it encountered engine problems in rough seas that caused it to drift toward the rocky shore.   

479 people, mostly senior citizens, were airlifted by Rescue Services. Some 20 passengers had been taken to hospital while others only suffered minor injuries, the Viking Cruise ship management said.

There were 1,373 passengers aboard the luxury ship the but none were Filipinos, the DFA said.

Report from Norwegian authorities said the luxury ship had restarted and is now moving at a slow pace. Tug boats are currently trying to move the Viking Sky to shore as three of the cruise ship’s four engines working. – Robie de Guzman

Dureza flies to Oslo peace forum; will update Norway on peace talks with Reds

admin   •   June 18, 2018

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza

 

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary  Jesus Dureza has left for Oslo, Norway on Monday, June 18.

Dureza will attend a peace forum which will be participated by peace negotiators from various countries.

The presidential adviser’s trip aims to share the Philippines’ experiences on peace negotiations and to learn from the experiences of other countries too.

“They try and gather together all the people who are involved in peace negotiations in different countries in the world. That will be a location for us to share experiences, share also mistakes so that we learn from them,” Dureza said.

He is also set to meet with the new Norwegian foreign minister to report the state of the peace negotiations in the Philippines.

He said this is also a chance to thank Norway for its strong support in the Philippines’ efforts in promoting peace between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Norway serves as the mediator for peace negotiations between the government and the CPP-NPA.

Before returning to the country, Dureza will visit and meet the Filipino community in Norway to report the situation of the nation under the Duterte administration. — Asher Cadapan | UNTV News & Rescue

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