Oberland villages safe for now

A glacier lake that threatened to burst its banks and swamp villages in the Bernese Oberland is draining slowly, though there is still a risk of a sudden flood.

This content was published on May 23, 2009 minutes

The lake near Grindelwald is swollen with melted snow. The glacier moraine holding the water back is crumbling. Authorities worried if a large chunk of the rock dam suddenly gave way, villages along the Lütschine river would be inundated.

On Saturday officials said portions of the moraine had indeed crumbled but more slowly than expected. The lake had grown to 1.8 million cubic metres of water with pockets of melted snow trapped beneath glacier ice.

Authorities are still monitoring the situation closely. Scientists could not say how much water had been released because the moraine shifted and caused large waves that destroyed their measuring gauges.

The A8 motorway near Interlaken has been reopened. Officials had closed it on Friday as a precaution. with agencies

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