'Intense continuous rain': Switzerland extends heavy weather forecast until end of week
Many Swiss regions are still impacted by rains and winds, with more of the same expected until the end of the week.
The Federal Office of Meteorology (MeteoSchweiz) is reporting “intense continuous rain” over much of the country.
Flooding remains a major threat, as lakes and rivers are overflowing in some regions.
This is the situation in parts of the country right now
A Danger Notice 3, which means “marked danger”, has been issued for Lake Geneva, as its present level “is worrying”, according to Etienne Monbaron, hydrologist at the city’s Water Ecology Service.
The lake will continue to rise slowly throughout Thursday and Friday, reaching “levels not seen for decades”, Monbaron predicted.
Cantons of Geneva and Vaud are affected, along with towns on the French side of the lake.
In central Switzerland, Lake Luzern and Lake Thun have exceeded the flood threshold during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, while Lake Biel / Bienne is at the limit.
The Zurich waters were all just below alert level 4 on Wednesday morning, a few centimetres below the high water mark. However, the canton expects that this mark will be exceeded in the next few days.
The level of the Limmat river is also likely to rise further due to the high level of Lake Zurich. As a precautionary measure, the Sihlsee dam was lowered on Tuesday evening so as not to put additional strain on the Limmat.
In Basel, the water level on the Rhine is too high, paralysing shipping traffic on the river in Switzerland’s only international port.
How long is this situation expected to last?
More rain is forecast for Thursday, causing further flooding.
This weather is likely to continue until Saturday, with water accumulation reaching up to 150 litres per square metre, further filling up rivers and lakes in some regions.
Alert level 4 out of 5 is not excluded for this weekend, according to MeteoSchweiz.
What can you do to keep safe?
Authorities advise against walking or standing on the banks of lakes and rivers.
If you live in close proximity to waterways, you should remove vehicles from underground garages.
And you should also stay continually informed about the situation in your area with the AlertSwiss App.