Army called up to help flood-hit towns

The Swiss authorities have called in the army to help evacuate people and livestock from villages cut off by heavy flooding in the Alps.

This content was published on October 11, 2011 - 18:44 and agencies

The defense ministry said on Tuesday that soldiers had been deployed to the Bernese Oberland south of the capital and to the Valais region of southern Switzerland.

It said army helicopters were being used to airlift animals and inhabitants from the isolated Gasterntal valley.

Days of heavy rain have swelled alpine streams to record levels, causing landslides and washed away roads. The floods are estimated to have caused millions of Swiss francs worth of damage, but so far there have been no reports of fatalities.

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