Three missing after heavy storms cause landslide in Switzerland

Three missing after heavy storms cause landslide in Switzerland

Three people were missing on Saturday after massive thunderstorms and rainfall in southeastern Switzerland caused a landslide, authorities said.

One woman was pulled out alive after being buried by the landslide in the Alpine valley of Misox in Graubünden. A rescue operation for the three others is ongoing.

The rockslide hit a group of houses in the municipality of Lostallo. Rescuers have been searching all day Saturday with excavators and specially-trained search dogs. William Kloter from the Swiss police, who is heading the rescue operations, told local media that he was hoping to find the three missing persons alive.

Swiss President Viola Amherd said she was shocked by the scale of the damage caused by severe weather.

“My thoughts are with those affected. I thank the emergency personnel for their tireless efforts in this difficult situation,” Amherd said on X.

Elsewhere in Switzerland, the popular tourist destination of Zermatt in the southern canton of Valais near the iconic Matterhorn mountain remains inaccessible. Heavy rains and melting snow have caused the Mattervispa River to overflow, cutting off the village.

Dramatic videos showed the otherwise small river that flows through Zermatt turning into a muddy flash flood, partially submerging streets in the popular ski resort.

The Matterhorn-Gotthard Railway halted operations with no alternative transportation available, the railway company announced on social media on Saturday morning.

Emergency services in the canton of Valais were on high alert over the levels of the Rhone River, which reached its peak on Saturday. Authorities there evacuated 230 residents on Saturday, with the municipality of Chippis particularly affected, as it is situated on the left bank of the Rhone River.

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


Meanwhile, thunderstorms and hailstorms have lashed southeast Poland, with the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management issuing the highest weather alert for the area.

The State Fire Services said it had received over 900 damage reports.

Heavy rains and "hurricane" wind gusts up to 120 kilometres per hour were forecasted by a spokesperson for the agency in the region, as well as winds strong enough to uproot trees and blow over billboards.

"Those are really serious alerts", said Brygadier Marcin Betleja, spokesperson for the Sub-Carpathian Regional Commander of the State Fire Services. "Meteorologists are forecasting heavy rainfall and hurricane gust winds in the region," he added.

"It is better for your own safety to stay indoors. You should close all windows, doors and remove all your possessions that could be blown away from your balconies or gardens and potentially harm others. Under any circumstances do not enter parks and forests – broken branches or fallen trees could harm you," Betleja said.