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Heavy spring snowfall cuts off villages

Villages in the Saas Valley in canton Valais have been cut off from the rest of the world due to the heavy snowfall at the beginning of the week.

The Simplon Pass – one of Switzerland’s major north-south arteries – was closed to traffic on Wednesday after 1.5 metres of snow fell on the south side of the pass.

Phone lines were also down for several hours.

Authorities additionally reported road closures in the Goms region in the eastern part of canton Valais, as well as in areas further east in canton Uri.

Other parts of southern and southeastern Switzerland, including cantons Ticino and Graubünden, were also hit hard by snow and heavy rainfall.

The Julier, Bernina and Maloja passes were temporarily closed.

Some low-lying areas saw up to 89 litres of rain per square metre.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR