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Ogi attends memorial service for Valais flood victims

The Swiss president, Adolf Ogi (right), addresses the mourners Keystone

The Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, has attended a memorial service in Brig for the 16 victims of October's flooding in canton Valais.

Ogi offered words of encouragement to local people and expressed the government’s gratitude for the solidarity and support shown by the country as a whole.

He praised local authorities, the rescue services and volunteers who poured into the canton to search for the dead and help the reconstruction.

Ogi said life was slowly returning to normal: “Bridges and streets are being repaired and houses rebuilt. Hope is returning to the Valais but I’ll never forget that period which left such deep scars.”

October’s flooding devastated parts of canton Valais and submerged towns and villages around Lake Maggiore in canton Ticino.

Three of the 16 victims have never been found. Two people are still missing from the devastating mudslide in the alpine village of Gondo, and another from Stalden-Neubrück.

The floods are estimated to have caused about SFr900 million worth of damage.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR