Second village evacuated in Swiss rockslide valley

Heavy overnight storms unleashed further landslides in the Val Badosca, forcing residents of a second village to evacuate in canton Graubünden. Eight hikers are still missing, presumed dead, following a massive rockslide that fell on Bondo village, in the same region, last week.

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Several residents from the village of Spino - one stop down the same valley as Bondo - were evacuated as rocks, stones and mud spilled onto their houses. Two were airlifted by helicopter, but the authorities believe that non-one was injured.

The latest landslide has also cut off electricity and road links Keystone

Having moved further down the valley than previous landslides, the latest movement has also disrupted electricity supplies to other villages in the region and cut off roads.

Geologists had warned of the possibility of further landslides after four million cubic metres of rock crashed down from the Piz Cengalo mountain on August 23. Another million cubic meters from the same massif were unstable and on the move, they said.

Just two days after the initial rockfall, efforts to clear up Bondo had to be halted as a second landslide fell on the village. The latest landslide is the third major event to hit the valley, this time made worse by heavy rainfall and stormy weather in the alpine region.

The danger of further landslides had hampered efforts to find the eight missing hikers. The search was abandoned on August 27 with the missing people being declared ‘presumed dead’.

Before the third landslide struck, the authorities had warned it could take three years or more to clear up and rebuild Bondo.

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