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More bodies recovered after Valais disaster

Soldiers searching for victims of the mudslides in Gondo Keystone

Three more bodies have been pulled from the rubble in the devastated canton Valais village of Gondo, bringing the death toll from Saturday's mudslide to nine.

This content was published on October 19, 2000 - 10:28

Four people are still missing in Gondo.

Rescuers are continuing to search for victims of the mudslide, but there is little hope of finding further survivors.

A total of 11 bodies have so far been found following the weekend's flooding and mudslides in the whole of canton Valais. One other person is still missing.

On Wednesday, the 130 inhabitants of Gondo, who are staying in the nearby towns of Simplon and Domodossola in neighbouring Italy, were allowed to return home briefly to collect some belongings.

Their houses now be boarded up while a decision is taken on the fate of the village.

Elsewhere in canton Valais, life is returning to normal. The main railway link between the Swiss town of Brig and Domodossola was re-opened on Wednesday, although some local trains are still not running.

Further east in Italian-speaking canton Ticino, water levels are receding after Lake Maggiore burst its banks, flooding towns and villages around the lake.

About 2,000 people had to be evacuated from vulnerable areas near the towns of Locarno and Ascona, both of which were largely underwater.

Concerns remain about tanks of fuel oil, which the authorities fear could be dislodged by the sodden earth. The emergency services are on a state of high alert.

swissinfo with agencies

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