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Rain storms cost 300 million francs a year

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Rain storms cost 300 million francs a year
Photo: Commune de St. Gingolph/Facebook
22:19 CEST+02:00
Bad weather cost Switzerland almost 14 billion francs over the past 42 years — an average of around 300 million francs a year, according to a new report.

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WLS) said weather events — such as the heavy rain that caused extensive flooding in parts of Western Switzerland last week — cost the country 13.7 billion francs ($14.7 billion) between 1972 and 2014.

The figures from WLS, reported on Sunday by state broadcaster RTS, emerged as the Neuchâtel, Morat and Biel lakes dropped on the weekend from critical levels after a week of higher than normal rainfall.

The previous weekend communities such as Saint Gingolph in the canton of Valais sustained property damage after a river flooded its banks, while landslides in the canton and in Vaud blocked roads and rail lines.

Of the period studied, 2005 marked the worst year for bad weather, with heavy precipitation over three days in August that year triggering flooding, landslides and mudslides that caused 2.5 billion francs in damages.

Total damages for the year amounted to 3.1 billion francs.

WLS said the canton of Bern was the worst affected, sustaining damages totalling 3.03 billion francs, ahead of Ticino (1.88 billion francs) and Valais (1.69 billion francs).

The figures quoted in the report do not include damage cause by avalanches, earthquake tremors, lightning, hail and storms.

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