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Evacuation update Most Bondo residents can go home soon

soldier clearing rocks and mud

Clean-up efforts will take years and cost millions.

(Keystone)

Many of the people displaced by Swiss landslides in August can return to their village this month, say local authorities. The road to Bondo in canton Graubünden will re-open on October 14. 

By then, the water, electricity and sanitation systems will also be back in working order – at least for the most part. About 80 of the 140 villagers can go home this month. The rest – whose homes are in a more vulnerable area – will have to wait until mid-November. Work crews are still busy emptying the holding basin designed to catch falling rocks and mud. This summer’s landslides filled it with about 200,000 cubic metres of crumbled mountain.

On August 23, the Piz Cengalo mountain on the Swiss-Italian border collapsed, resulting in a massive landslide. A second landslide followed two days later. Altogether, some three million cubic metres of rock and earth came down – making it one of the largest landslides in Swiss history. Eight hikers went missing and are presumed dead. 

A second village in Val Badosca, Spino, also had to evacuate after heavy storms caused additional landslides there. Its residents can return later in October. 

The Swiss Solidarityexternal link fund has raised over CHF5 million ($5.1 million) to help with the rebuilding efforts, which will take years.

swissinfo.ch/sm

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