Fears for miss­ing in Swiss land­slide

The Weekend Post - - World -

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.

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