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Seven dead in bad weather that hit Switzerland, France and Italy

Photo: Michael Buholzer Associated Press In southern Switzerland, the material damage is considerable, caused by mudslides, raging rivers and floods. Pictured is the Visletto Bridge, which collapsed in the weekend's storms.

Christophe Vogt – Agence France-Presse and Boris Heger – Agence France-Presse in Geneva

Published at 12:50 p.m.

  • Europe

At least seven people died in France and Switzerland during the violent storms, tempests and torrential rains that swept through the two countries as well as northern Italy on Saturday, local authorities announced on Sunday.

In southern Switzerland and northern Italy, the material damage is considerable, caused by mudslides, raging rivers and floods.

In France, in the Aube department (north-east), three elderly people were killed on Saturday evening when a tree fell on the car in which they were traveling. A fourth passenger, injured, is in absolute emergency.

In Switzerland, four people are dead and two missing.

In Ticino (south-east), a landslide killed three people and one person is still wanted, cantonal police announced on Sunday.

In the canton of Valais (south-west), a man, “probably surprised by the rapid rise in water”, was found dead in a hotel in Saas-Grund, according to the cantonal police.

The situation is “dramatic” in this town, part of which was devastated by torrential lava – mudflows mixed with rocks –, according to the Valais elected official responsible for security, Frédéric Favre. Road access to the village is cut off, police told AFP.

A man is also missing in Valais, according to the police.

Le Val Maggia isolated

In Ticino, some 400 people – including 40 children from a holiday camp – had to be evacuated from risk areas and taken to civil protection shelters.

Val Maggia and its side valleys are only accessible by air, after the collapse of a bridge swept away by the waves at Cevio, at the entrance to the valley, the police indicated during from a press briefing, reports the Keystone-ATS agency.

All communications, electricity and drinking water are also cut off throughout the region.

Already last week bad weather had left one dead and two missing in Switzerland.

The repetition of catastrophic events “touches us deeply”, declared Sunday in Locarno the head of Swiss diplomacy Ignazio Cassis, originally from Ticino.

Valais “under control”

In the south-west of Switzerland, overflows of the Rhône and its tributaries, swollen by torrential rains and melting snow , led to the evacuation of several hundred people and the closure of numerous roads, and caused considerable damage, according to the local authorities in Valais.

The situation is now “under control” and the decline is in progress, indicated Sunday afternoon the State Councilor of Valais responsible for security, Frédéric Favre during a press briefing, reports the Keystone-ATS agency.< /p>

The context will, however, remain “fragile” for several days, he stressed.

The canton had not experienced such a situation since 2000, when the village of Gondo was ravaged by a torrent of mud, which caused thirteen victims, recalled Mr. Favre.

Italy too

On the Italian side, Piedmont and the Aosta Valley (north-west ) also suffered floods and mudslides.

Piedmont firefighters announced on Sunday morning that they had carried out 80 interventions to rescue people in difficulty.

In Valle d'Aosta, an autonomous region located along the border with France and Switzerland, a mudslide temporarily blocked the regional road providing access to Cervinia. The overflowing of a torrent caused significant damage in the center of this tourist town where several stores were flooded.

Still in the Aosta Valley, a village of 1,300 inhabitants, Cogne, also found itself cut off from the world, a mudslide having blocked the access routes. The village recorded 90 mm of precipitation in six hours on Saturday.

Near Cogne, in Valnontey, the electricity network is out of service, as well as the electricity supply network. water. During the night, a helicopter rescued a family stranded in this locality.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116