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Stream bursts banks and floods Zermatt

stream
Keystone / Philippe Mooser

A torrent of water in the Triftbach stream caused unexpected flooding in the Swiss resort of Zermatt. A pocket of meltwater in the glacier above is believed to be the cause.

Despite it being the hottest day of the year without a drop of rain in sight, the Triftbach stream took Zermatt by surprise on Wednesday when it transformed into a gushing torrent of grey water for a while. News website 20 Minuten was able to source footageExternal link from readers.

No one was injured, the municipality said.

A glacier is probably at the origin of these torrents of water carrying sand and stones, said mayor Romy Biner-Hauser, who described it as “an unpredictable whim of nature”. 

A pocket of water in the glacial zone above the stream – invisible from the surface – could have emptied itself, he said. 

The fire brigade has been deployed and the bridges over the Triftbach have been closed. Water had to be pumped out of some of the cellars of local houses.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR