Report: further landslides likely in Bondo

The Swiss village of Bondo that was hit by a massive landslide in August is at risk of further rockfalls.

Report: further landslides likely in Bondo
File photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

A group of experts appointed by the canton of Graubünden delivered their findings on Friday, news agencies reported.

They told the media a very rare chain of events led to the collapse of one side of the Piz Cengalo mountain and the resulting landslide.

Three million cubic metres of rock, the volume of 3,000 houses, collapsed on to the glacier dislodging within seconds a huge amount of ice that was then pulverized or melted.

The melted ice then sent a wave of mud, rock and debris crashing into the Bondasca valley below, according to the 20-strong expert team set up to look into the causes of the disaster.

They warned that further rockfalls are likely as more than one million cubic metres of rock is still in motion.

Heavy rainfall could result in further landslides in the coming years.

No inhabitants of Bondo were injured in the disaster of August 23rd, but eight people hiking in the area were reported missing.

More than one hundred people had to be evacuated and several buildings were destroyed.

It was two months before most of the evacuated could return home.

Bondo residents have been told that reconstructing the village could take years.



Graubünden village faces new rockfall threat

The village of Bondo in the Val Bregaglia region of Graubünden is once more under threat of rockfalls just a few months after residents began to return home following a huge landslide that hit the village in August.

Graubünden village faces new rockfall threat
Bondo after last summer's landslides. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
Some four million cubic metres of rock detached from the Piz Cengalo mountain on August 23rd after a period of heavy rain, sending a wave of mud, rock and debris into the village that destroyed some properties and cut off vital services
The landslide was so severe that its vibrations were measured to be the equivalent of a 3 magnitude earthquake. 
Eight hikers were presumed killed in the tragedy – their bodies were never found – and the village, though thankfully evacuated in time, was left uninhabitable until October
Now the village is faced with the prospect of further rockfalls. 
Officials from the region told the media that another large rockfall occurred on the Piz Cengalo last week, and some two million cubic metres of rock remain unstable, with at least half of that at high risk of falling in the coming days. 
Torrential rain forecast for the area over the next few days, which is particularly bad news since the retention basin – built to help protect the village from rockfalls – has not yet been entirely emptied after the last landslide.