Storm Ciara wanes in Switzerland after two days of disruption

Storm Ciara reached Switzerland early on Monday morning. Strong winds affected many regions, including Lake Geneva in the west of the country. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

Storm Ciara lashed across Switzerland again on Monday night, albeit with less intensity than the previous evening. After widespread damage, travel disruption and one death, the storm eased on Tuesday.

This content was published on February 11, 2020 - 17:51

The storm that has lashed Britain and northern continental Europe with heavy rain and high winds also struck Switzerland over the past two days, with wind speeds of 148km/h recorded on Monday in lowland areas, such as at Rünenberg in canton Basel Country, according to the public broadcast service, SRF Meteo. 

The storm affected air traffic. On Monday morning, Zurich Airport announced that 50 departures and 50 arrivals had been cancelled. At Basel-Mulhouse, around 180 flights were cancelled on Monday morning, with gusts on the runways measuring 120 km/h. 

Around 30 flights were cancelled on Monday departing from and arriving at Geneva Airport; further delays are expected at the airport until Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, southern Switzerland has been largely spared, according to MeteoSwiss. 

The storm also caused several disruptions to rail services. In French-speaking Switzerland, various lines between Le Noirmont (Jura), Tavannes (Bern), Saignelégier (Jura), La Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel and Porrentruy and Bonfol (Jura) have been affected, causing delays and cancellations. 


On Monday, a 36-year-old driver was killed when a lorry coming towards him was blown onto the wrong side of the road, causing the fatal collision.

On Sunday evening, a tree hit the driver's cab of a passenger train shortly before the train entered the station at Moutier but did not cause any injuries. Other train lines were also affected, such as between Romont and Bulle in canton Fribourg, as well as in many other parts of German-speaking Switzerland. 

Trees were uprooted and fell on several roads in the central plateau region. The regions of Schaffhausen, Aarau, Solothurn, the Bernese Jura and central Switzerland were particularly badly affected, Viasuisse reported. 

Insurance companies said they had received hundreds of calls, with tree-damaged roofs and buildings being the main complaint. Losses for insurers are expected to run into the millions of francs.


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