• Switzerland's news in English

Swiss rain damage mounts in the millions

Malcolm Curtis · 4 Jun 2013, 21:51

Published: 04 Jun 2013 21:51 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Swiss insurance association (SVV) said the estimate was an initial reckoning that would likely go higher.

The damage was largely centred on eastern Switzerland, affecting buildings and commercial goods.

Around 2,000 people or businesses had filed claims as of Tuesday, the SVV said.

Suisse Grêle, the agricultural insurance co-op, estimated that damage to crops totalled about 2.5 million francs.

The co-op received 600 calls from people concerned about damage from the rainfall that started on Friday and ended on Sunday.

Despite extensive TV footage of fields under water, a spokeswoman from the union of Swiss farmers said the deluge would have little overall impact on Swiss agricultural production, the ATS news agency reported.

In the canton of Saint Gallen, the parliament freed up 500,000 francs of lottery revenue to aid property owners who suffered damage but were without insurance.

A cantonal road between Schmerikon and Bollingen remains closed to traffic until further notice, ATS reported.

In the canton of Schwyz, a section of the A-14 autoroute, which closed over the weekend between Goldau and Brunnen, is open to traffic again.

The Gotthard rail line will be reopened to passenger trains between Immensee and Arth-Goldau, in the canton of Schwyz, on Wednesday, ATS said.

The section was closed to rail traffic on Sunday due to rockslides, with buses pressed into service to maintain the link for passengers.

The rain caused numerous rivers and lakes to overflow their banks in northern, central and eastern Switzerland and led to at least one death.

The ASA insurance group, however, described the weather event as “average” in gravity.

In neighbouring Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged 100 million euros ($130 million) in flood aid on Tuesday while touring hard-hit southern areas of the country.

The same storm that hit parts of Switzerland struck several countries in Eastern and Central Europe, leading to the evacuation of 8,000 people in Prague, and claiming the lives if 11 people across the region.

In Hungary, a state of emergency was declared along some areas of the Danube River, where water continues to rise.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available