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Storm Frederico rips through Switzerland

Storm Frederico damaged trees and infrastructure in Switzerland.
Storm Frederico caused damage to trees and infrastructure in Switzerland on November 16-17. SRF-SWI

A violent storm roared through Switzerland on Thursday night with high winds of up to 171 kilometres per hour (km/h) registered in the northeast of the country. A 72-year-old motorist lost his life in canton Bern.

Winds of 171 km/h were registered on the Säntis mountain in the Appenzell Alps in northeast Switzerland. Elsewhere, high winds were recorded in Chasseral, canton Bern, (136 km/h) and Les Diablerets, canton Vaud, (127 km/h).

The high winds of Storm Frederico ranked among the top 10 ever recorded in certain locations in Switzerland, notably in cantons Bern, Lucerne and Zurich, said MeteoSwiss.

Other peaks witnessed strong winds, such as the Uetliberg, canton Zurich (133 km/h), or the Bantiger, canton Bern (152 km/h). The winds were also violent in populated areas in the lowlands: Cressier, canton Neuchâtel, (100 km/h) and Le Bouveret, canton Vaud (98 km/h.)

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Canton Bern was badly affected with multiple calls to police, mainly for fallen trees or objects on roads. A 72-year-old motorist died in Gurzelen, canton Bern, on Thursday evening after a tree crushed his car.

Several railway lines were also interrupted due to strong winds, notably between Bern and Solothurn, and between Zurich and Uetliberg.

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In canton Zurich, firefighters were called out over 100 times for uprooted trees. Cantons St Gallen, Thurgau, Schaffhausen and Lucerne suffered similar problems. Several local roads were closed in these regions, and certain municipalities in canton Schaffhausen were briefly without electricity.

In French-speaking Switzerland, trees were uprooted in canton Vaud and Neuchâtel, but there was no major damage.

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles. You can find them here

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR