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Torrential rain of Switzerland (information)

Before Thursday!!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    ZURICH, Switzerland -- Torrential rain and strong winds have whipped across parts of Europe causing massive mudslides and severe flooding.

    Worst affected are Switzerland where a mud bank swept through the centre of one town, Austria where a derailed train left one person dead, and northern Italy where a mother and daughter are feared dead after their car was swept away.

    But the heavy downpour has also forced dozens of residents to find emergency accommodation in Scotland and tourists to wade knee-deep in water around Venice.

    While some parts have seen the worst of the weather, some heavy rain was expected in Tuscany, Venice and Lazio in Italy on Monday.

    Tonnes of mud dislodged by torrential rain slid through the Swiss Alpine village of Schlans in the mountainous eastern canton of the Grisons on the weekend, running right through the middle of the town but sparing residents' lives.

    The 10-metre wide (30-foot) wall thundered down the hill smashing into a mill and farm buildings. A helicopter was used to evacuate residents.

    Dozens of people were also evacuated from the villages of Clavaniev, Curaglia and Surrein and 100 more had to leave their homes in the village of Lully near Geneva.

    Landslides in the central canton of Uri and southern canton of Ticino also shut down several roads and some rail links.

    Major rail lines, including the Gotthard and Simpon routes through the Alps that connect northern Europe with Italy, were closed on Saturday, but later re-opened, Reuters said.

    Hurricane-like winds derailed an Austrian train at Salzburg, killing one person and injuring others after it came off the tracks, rescue services told Reuters.

    The area has been hammered by winds of up to 160 kilometres (100 miles) an hour since Thursday.

    The whole of the Salzburg region was declared a "disaster zone" on Saturday and a Red Cross spokesperson appealed to local people to stay indoors.

    Rescue workers have been unable to get to a mother and daughter who had been swept away in their car on Friday near the Italian Alpine town of Sondrio, 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of the Swiss border.

    Their car slid down a river bank into the water, and searchers had seen no sign of the victims since, Lombardy region press official tole The Associated Press.


    Days of heavy rain have battered the northern regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto.

    Tourists waded through about a metre of water in St. Mark's Square in Venice after levels reached their fifth-highest in the past 40 years.

    In other parts of the north, a few small towns had been cut off by landslides, several hundred people had evacuated their homes, and some roads were closed.

    In southern France a high-speed TGV train derailed after a mudslide engulfed tracks between Lyon and Chambery, authorities told Reuters. No one was injured.

    Almost 200 French homes were evacuated and main roads were cut off in the Valence area near Grenoble as the Rhone river and tributaries swelled to more than two metres above safe levels.

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