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Stranded Snow and high water block access to Swiss mountain villages

Road blocked by snow and roadworker on phone

Some mountain roads in the Italian-speaking southern part of Switzerland were also blocked as a result of heavy snowfall  


Heavy rain and snow have hit many parts of Switzerland, leaving several thousand people in the Alps cut off from the outside world.

A number of mountain villages, notably in the Valais, Bernese Oberland as well as in the southeast and in central Switzerland, were blocked as roads or rail links were suspended due a high risk of avalanches and mudslides.

Police said roads to the ski resorts of Saas Fee and Adelboden were closed, while Zermatt could only be reached via bus as train services were interrupted.

map mountians

map showing location of Zermatt, Adelboden and Saas Fee

Several holiday homes were evacuated in a village in the Saint Bernard area in southwestern Switzerland, local officials confirmed.

Rivers in lower-lying regions of western Switzerland have broken their banks.

Flood prevention

Security services have set up flood prevention barriers along the banks of the rivers, Rhine and Aare, in the north of the country.

About 2,500 households in rural areas around Bern remained cut off from regular electricity supply on Thursday.

Weather experts say the critical situation is expected to persist over the next few days and comes in the wake of storm Burglind which swept across much of Switzerland and other parts of Europe on Wednesday.

At least eight people were injured in the storm which has caused material damage worth an estimated CHF50 million ($51 million).

+ How storm Burglind hit Switzerland

Emergency services blow up rubber tubes to damn river banks

Emergency services in the Lake Geneva region blow up rubber tubes to stop the water from flooding residential areas and industrial complexes at Nyon 

(Keystone) with agencies/ug

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