3 missing in a landslide in Swiss Alps as heavy rains cause flash floods

Swiss President Viola Amherd says she’s shocked by the scale of the damage caused by severe weather.

An excavator removes stones from the bed of the Navizence river in Valais, southern Switzerland, on Saturday [Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA-EFE]

Three people are missing after massive thunderstorms and rainfall in southeastern Switzerland caused a landslide.

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

The rockslide hit a group of houses in the municipality of Lostallo. Rescuers searched all day with excavators and specially trained dogs. William Kloter from the Swiss police, who is heading the rescue operation, told local media he hopes 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.

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

Source: The Associated Press