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Violent thunderstorm claims two lives in Zug

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09:05 CEST+02:00

A series of violent thunderstorms hit Switzerland on Thursday, killing two people, flooding basements and garages and disrupting motorway traffic.


Two people who had sought shelter from a raging thunderstorm under a tree in Canton Zug were killed when the tree collapsed on them in strong wind gusts, reports said. The tree also injured two other people. The group was reportedly attending a company’s party in the area, said a report on 20 Minuten.

The Canton Schwyz area, Zurich, Lucerne and St. Gallen were also hit by violent storms which continued overnight.

"The wind and hail whipped through the streets as if Lucerne was a city on the sea," reader-reporter Zoran Ivanovic was quoted as saying by the daily, adding that the city’s streets became “white within minutes.”

Flooded basements and garages were reported across the country and hundreds of emergency calls were placed to rescue teams. Hail drops as big as ping pong balls fell between Pfäffikon and Wollerau, while near Ägerisee, or Lake Aegeri, winds blew at 132 km/h and 30 litres of water per square meter fell in only 10 minutes, SF Meteo said.

In the southern Canton Ticino, a landslide forced the closure of a motorway lane between Chiasso and Melide, said a report on the Corriere del Ticino newspaper.


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