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More rain renews flood and landslide risks

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More rain renews flood and landslide risks
Photo: Commune de St. Gingolph/Facebook
09:44 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: Many parts of western Switzerland remained on alert as weather forecasters called for additional rain on Tuesday, heightening the risk of more flooding and transportation disruptions.

A landslide at 9am on Tuesday blocked the rail line between Vevey and Lausanne in the canton of Vaud, shutting down passenger train service between the two cities and disrupting rail traffic between the canton of Valais and Geneva.

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) said it was putting shuttle buses into service between Vevey and the Vaud capital.

Authorities on Monday closed an access road to Les Crosets, a ski resort village in the Portes du Soleil area of the canton of Valais, because of the fear of a landslide in the area.

Around 60 of the 80 full-time residents of the village decided to evacuate the village, the ATS news agency reported.

More landslides occurred above Monthey, where residents were told to prepare to evacuate the Valais village for a second time after the Vièze River rose again.

The evacuation alert was later lifted when the water level subsided.

The train line between Monthey and Saint Maurice was closed early on Monday as a precaution.

Residents of Saint Gingolph, overlooking Lake Geneva, were told they might have to evacuate the village again after the Morge River, which overran its banks on Saturday, threatened to do the same thing again on Monday.

In Geneva, the high level of the Arve River forced authorities to close the Acacias bridge at around 11am, only reopening it to traffic shortly after 7pm, the Tribune de Genève reported.

Other bridges, including the La Bâtie pedestrian crossing of the Arve, remained closed, while walkways along the river were banned from use.

Elsewhere, the heavy precipitation, which began last Friday, caused mudslides that closed small roads, such as the one between Vex and Euseigne in the Val d’Hérens.

In the canton of Bern, MeteoSwiss, the national weather office, issued flood warnings for Lake Thun, Lake Biel and the Aare River.

All three water bodies spilled over their banks in certain areas on Monday.

Lake Neuchâtel rose close to critical levels “rather exceptional. rarely attained these last few decades”, a government spokesman told RTS.

In the canton of Vaud, communities such as Vevey, and Montreux were keeping a close eye on water courses, while municipalities like Aigle, l’Orbe and Yverdon-les-Bains also remained under surveillance. 

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