Landslide in Switzerland on August 24 2017 11:01 AM (UTC).
A fresh mudslide has swept into a remote mountain town in eastern Switzerland where an earlier huge landslip this week dumped rock, rubble and mud metres high and left eight people missing. In the latest slide, a river of mud poured through tiny Bondo in the eastern Grisons canton, near the Swiss-Italian border, television images showed. Rescuers continued their search for eight hikers from Switzerland, Austria and Germany reported missing since the initial landslide above the town on Wednesday. Police in Grisons said the new slide hit in late afternoon on Friday and that some residents who had been allowed to return home had to be evacuated again. Nobody was injured, police said, but the slide smashed equipment that was being used to clear debris from the previous slide. Melting permafrost from warming temperatures is likely to be one of the factors behind this week's disaster, said Marcia Phillips, group leader for snow and permafrost at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. Such a cataclysmic event had probably been in the works for thousands of years as changes in the permafrost, rock structure, water content and pressure above Bondo conspired to destabilise the 3369-metre Piz Cengalo mountain, Phillips said. "Permafrost was one of several influencing factors, but not the only one influencing this kind of huge event," she told Reuters. "This week was a very large event, exceptionally large." Smaller but still potentially dangerous slides may become more common as permafrost thaws with rising air temperatures, she said. After Wednesday's slide, mountain rubble and mud piled up as high as a 15-storey building in places. The initial rockfall kicked off tremors equivalent to a magnitude 3 earthquake, police said. Helicopters equipped with heat sensors and technology to detect cell phone signals searched for the missing, as did dog teams and teams of 120 people.
Rescue crews are searching for as many as 14 people including Germans, Austrians and Swiss who have been missing for more than a day after a landslide struck a remote Swiss valley near the Italian border, police said on Thursday. Authorities had evacuated around 100 people from the village of Bondo and airlifted hikers from nearby huts in the eastern canton of the Grisons after rocks and mud hit the area on Wednesday. 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 on Thursday, 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 at about 1130 GMT 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," Lieutenant Andrea Mittner said at a news conference televised on Swiss state broadcaster SRF. Those missing were described as hikers and climbers. No children or locals from the region were among those reported missing. Austria's Foreign Ministry said two Austrians were among the missing. The landslide's force registered a magnitude of 3 on the Richter Scale, Mittner said, equivalent to a small earthquake that can be felt by people and may shake indoor objects. "You can imagine just what a mass had to come down to cause an earthquake scenario," he said. Additional landslides are possible. About 120 rescue workers are on the scene.
Eight people are missing following a landslide in southeastern Switzerland, police have said. Around 100 people have been evacuated from several small villages in the Val Bondasca region following the landslide on Wednesday. Graubunden cantonal police have said that German, Austrian and Swiss citizens are among the missing. Officers said they had been missing for more than a day, and that six of the eight had been reported missing by relatives. They added that 12 farm buildings, including barns and stables, had been destroyed. Hikers were airlifted from nearby huts after the area was hit by rocks and mud. An army helicopter has been called in to help with the search.