Swiss prepare to evacuate village threatened by vast landslide

Swiss prepare to evacuate village threatened by vast landslide
View of the village and the "Brienzer Rutsch", taken on Tuesday, 9 May 2023, in Brienz-Brinzauls, Switzerland. The municipality has closed the access road to the village; residents must evacuate their homes by Friday evening due to an impending rockslide. Two million cubic metres of rock from the mountain above is predicted to come loose and crashing to the valley in the next few days. EPA-EFE/GIAN EHRENZELLER

BRIENZ, Switzerland, May 11 (Reuters) - Swiss authorities have ordered residents to abandon a tiny mountain village in the eastern canton of Graubunden because of fears it will soon be buried beneath a collapsing mountainside.

On Thursday, a thick coat of fog covered the mountaintop overlooking the village of Brienz, where vegetation has been replaced by slopes of mud and rocks.

Civil defence patrols drove around its nearly empty roads. People could be seen loading a truck.

The Brienz population of less than 100 people have been given until Friday evening to evacuate.

Some areas were cordoned off, with yellow warning signs in five languages that read: “Attention rockfall.”

Climate change is putting Switzerland at increased risk of natural hazards, including an increase in erosion due to higher temperatures, Swiss authorities say

(Reporting by Cécile Mantovani and Denis Balibouse in Brienz; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Toby Chopra)


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