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Violent weather Torrential rains hit French-speaking Switzerland

Flooded street in Sion

The torrential rains come hot on the heels of a major heatwave.

(RTS-SWI)

Violent thunderstorms struck vast swathes of French-speaking Switzerland late Monday causing major flooding that prompted scores of evacuation requests.

The southwestern city of Sion was particularly hard hit with hundreds of cellars flooding in the wine-making region. 

Office workers had to be evacuated by firefighters, according to Swiss Public Radio, RTS. Police recorded more than a thousand calls and evacuation requests in the span of two-hours.

Torrential rains also inundated the train station and water levels rose so high that cars got stuck in the streets of Sion, the capital of canton Valais.

Rain currents filled with rubble and stones littered roads and chocked off major arteries, including the scenic Great St. Bernard Pass which snakes across the Alps connecting Switzerland to Italy.

Repair works are still underway.

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Torrential rains in Sion

Torrential Rains

Heavy rains and violent winds pummeled the Lake Geneva area with wind gusts of over 90 km/hour hitting Le Bouveret and 40 mm or rain documented in Prangins, according to MétéoSuisse.

In Vevey, a town on the northern shore of Lake Geneva, sailboats ran aground in front of the market square.

RTS/ds

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