A new alarm system has been installed to warn of impending rockfalls, even at night or in low visibility, that allows for a four minute evacuation time on the number 3 main road through Spino and Promontogno, the commune said in a statement on Monday.
In addition, the army will this week begin work to construct a new, secure access road to the badly damaged village of Bondo without passing through the ‘red zone’, which is still threatened by landslides.
Bondo was evacuated on August 23rd when a huge section of rock detached from the Piz Cengalo mountain and travelled down the valley in a wave of mud and debris.
Eight hikers in the region were reported missing after the landslide, and their bodies have not been found.
No one was hurt or killed in Bondo itself, though twelve buildings were destroyed and the village was left uninhabitable.
Subsequent landslides caused further damage to the village and the neighbouring communes of Spino, Promontogno and Sotoponte, which were also evacuated.
The new access to Bondo should be ready in three weeks, said the authorities, adding that safe access was one of the requirements before villagers could return to their homes.
The electricity and water supply to the village must also be reinstalled; a water pipeline to the village was destroyed in the landslide.
It is not yet possible to say when residents will be able to return home, said the commune. Staying in the area is currently too dangerous.