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Clear-up after Swiss landslide could take ‘several years’

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Clear-up after Swiss landslide could take ‘several years’
The village of Bondo was swamped by the landslide. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
09:24 CEST+02:00
The inhabitants of the village of Bondo, hit by a massive landslide last week, have been told that reconstructing the village could take years, Swiss media have reported.
Around 300 people were present at an information evening on Tuesday evening, in which the Graubünden authorities said the removal of the rock and the reconstruction of the village could take three to four years, news agencies reported on Wednesday.
 
A first step is to remove 200,000 cubic metres of rock that caused the failure of a barrier designed to to hold back a rockfall.
 
Residents may not return to live in the village until that has been done, officials told news agency ATS.
 
Anna Giacometti, the mayor of Bondo, said the Graubünden government would offer financial help to the area, with 800,000 francs already released.
 
The rockfall struck on Wednesday morning when one side of the Piz Cengalo detached from the mountain, sending a wave of mud, rock and debris into the Bondasca valley below. 
 
 
One hundred people were evacuated from the village and no inhabitants were injured, but several buildings were destroyed.
 
Eight people thought to have been hiking in the region were later reported missing – after three days the search for them was called off.
 
Around three million cubic metres of rock is now thought to have broken off the mountain – less than the four million originally cited. 
 
Nevertheless, the landslide is still deemed the largest in Switzerland for 100 years.
 
 
On Monday Bondo’s residents were allowed to return home, briefly, to collect belongings. 
 
Accompanied by police and civilian guards they were ordered to leave again by 8pm, reported 20 Minuten.
 
One local resident, Bruno Vetsch, told the paper that the tragedy was a “wound for Bondo, which will last forever”.
 
“Bondo was a very nice and quiet place,” said another, Ivana Engeler. “Now everything is different.”
 
“We must hope and pray that nothing worse happens,” she added, fearing the threat of subsequent rockfalls. “I don’t know who still wants to live in Bondo.”
 
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