Fears for missing in Swiss landslide
POLICE say as many as 14 people are missing after a dramatic landslide in Switzerland, which was caught on camera.
The Sun reports that the disaster took place in the Swiss village of Bondo, in Kanton Graubunden yesterday.
A search and rescue operation was under way. A group, including German, Austrian and Swiss citizens, was missing and the landslide forced the evacuation of several villages in the southeastern region of Switzerland.
“In the region of Val Bondasca, eight people who were there at the time of the landslide have not been found,” the Graubunden cantonal police said in a statement.
Police said they were unable to reach eight people in the area, six of whom had been reported missing by relatives, despite intensified searches by teams including an army helicopter outfitted with thermal sensing technology as well as rescue dogs.
At a news conference overnight, police officials added that a separate group of six people may also be missing, though it was unclear from family members who made the report whether these individuals were in the area where the landslide occurred or if they were somewhere else.
“The relatives don’t know just where they were,” Lt Andrea Mittner said.
Hikers from nearby huts in the eastern canton of the Grisons had to be flown to safety after rocks and mud hit the area. An automatic alarm system was set up in 2012 after another huge landslide in the same region.
The massive rocks reached the entrance of the village and cut off the main road.
A total of 100 people were evacuated from the village. The landslide also caused a major flood that flowed down towards Bondo.
The rocks fell from Piz Cengalo in Val Bondasca, a valley close to the village.
Police said 12 farm buildings, including barns and stables, had been destroyed by the flow of debris.
Markus Walzer, a Graubuenden police spokesman, said the weather in the region had been good in recent days, and the cause of the mudslide was not immediately known.
On Sunday six hikers were hit by falling rocks in a similar incident in the alpine nation.
A rock avalanche that lasted approximately 20 seconds struck a path around the Gelmersee, a popular lake in the Bernese Oberland.
The slide caused an impact equivalent to 3.0 on the Richter scale.