Largest Swiss flag in the world damaged by torrential rain in the Alps
The flag had been deployed on the Säntis mountain in the Alpstein massif in northeastern Switzerland as part of the Swiss National Day celebrations. But the weather hadn't read the script.
It measures 80 metres by 80 metres and weighs more than 700 kilograms. It took 20 people three hours to install it on a cliff on the Säntis mountain as part of the August 1st Swiss National Day celebrations.
The largest Swiss flag in the world, however, didn't last longer than 24 hours before a tear developed down its left flank.
The torrential rains that fell on Wednesday August 1st were the alleged cause behind the flag's ripping, according to Swiss daily Blick.
The right side of the flag had also incurred damage two years ago, according to Blick.
Recent high temperatures have broken records in Switzerland but lightning was the key meteorological factor in cantons in the northeast and southwest of the Alpine country on Switzerland's National Day, Wednesday August 1st. Lightning struck 19,032 times yesterday, mainly in the cantons of St Gallen, Valais and Grisons, reports MeteoNews.
While no casualties were reported, trees were struck down and roads were flooded. In St Gallen, the A13 road was submerged in water while in the canton of Grisons, a mudslide fell on the Flüela Pass, a high mountain road, reports Swiss news portal 24 Heures. The Heizwerk Festival in Arbon on Lake Constance, which is open air, had to be suspended on Wednesday due to torrential rains.
That event will resume today, according to a statement on the festival's website.
The brief, intense spells of rain did little however to alleviate Switzerland's chronically dry summer. "On Wednesday, it rained intensely, but only occasionally and nowhere for very long," said Markus Kägi of MeteoSuisse, Switzerland's Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, reports 24 Heures, adding that prolonged rain would be needed to ease the country's unusually dry summer.
The heatwave has led to fish being relocated for their survival from rivers where temperatures have risen beyond 23 degrees Celsius, wildfire warnings, restrictions on use of water and even enforced cuts in production of energy at a nuclear power plant.
The high temperatures are expected to last until Saturday at least, according to forecasts from Meteo Suisse.