The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Severe Storms and Heavy Rainfall Hit Several Regions

Heavy rain has been affecting the Tessin region of Switzerland since Friday evening, particularly in the north of the canton. In Biasca, the fire brigade was called out 30 times on Sunday alone due to flooding. In the east of Switzerland, high water levels threatened the Rhine valley. According to Meteoschweiz, 191.6 millimetres of rain per square metre had fallen in Biasca since Friday evening, with Meteonews reporting local totals of up to 250 millimetres - more than the average for the whole of August. The affected area extended to Lodrino and Osogna. In Tegna, above Locarno, a large rockfall from a cliff along the cantonal road destroyed a car on Sunday afternoon. The heavy rainfall also had an impact on the drinking water supply, with Alertswiss warning of microbiological contamination in the municipalities of Bodio and Maggia. The water must be boiled before drinking or using in the kitchen. The storm front is expected to weaken on Monday afternoon. In the meantime, the situation in the landslide area of Schwanden GL in the canton of Glarus has become more serious due to the weather conditions. The ground has become heavily saturated, leading to further safety measures being taken. The complete closure and evacuation of the landslide area of Wagenrunse will remain in place until at least Tuesday afternoon. The Swiss Federal Office has declared a rain danger level 4 (out of 5) for the central and eastern Alpine north slope, with strong rises in water levels of rivers and lakes, flooding of basements and garages, failure of drainage systems and sewage systems, and disruption to road and rail traffic. The strongest phase of the continuous rain is expected from Sunday to Monday afternoon, with 80 to 120 millimetres of rain expected in 24 hours. People are advised to avoid riverbanks and steep slopes due to the risk of mudslides.nnnnnnnnnnnn

©Keystone/SDA

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