Switzerland Hit with Floods and Landslide, With Three People Unaccounted For


A massive landslide caused by severe thunderstorms and rainfall in southeastern Switzerland has left three people missing, authorities reported. The rockslide hit a group of houses in the municipality of Lostallo, prompting rescuers to search the area all day Saturday with excavators and search dogs. Swiss police officer William Kloter, leading the rescue operations, expressed hope that the missing persons would be found alive.

Swiss President Viola Amherd expressed shock at the scale of the damage, saying her thoughts were with those affected and thanking emergency personnel for their efforts. The village of Zermatt, a popular tourist destination, remains inaccessible due to heavy rains and melting snow causing the Mattervispa River to overflow and cut off the area.

The Matterhorn-Gotthard Railway halted operations, leaving no alternative transportation available, while emergency services in the canton of Valais were on high alert due to rising Rhone River levels. Authorities evacuated 230 residents, particularly from the municipality of Chippis, situated on the left bank of the Rhone River.

Residents were advised to avoid lower parts of their houses, stay away from swelling rivers, and refrain from parking on bridges. They were also warned against filming or photographing the floods for safety reasons.

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