Torrential rains in the Emmental region caused the Emme river to overflow its banks on Thursday, causing massive flooding in the area. Statistically, this level of flooding takes place just once in 300 years, the environment ministry reported.
The rain began early Thursday morning, with more than 100 litres per square metre falling within hours. The already soaked ground in the region around the farming village of Schangnau was unable to absorb the precipitation, resulting in mudslides and huge amounts of water that flooded many of the structures in the mostly rural area.
There were no injuries to people, but three goats and around 100 chickens were killed. Two old wooden bridges were washed away, and parts of Schangnau were cut off.
The army and emergency services were called in to help clean up the area, and were working around the clock, Bern cantonal police reported.
Video footage from Swiss public television, SRF, showed how the area looked on Thursday.
swissinfo.ch and agencies