Entire Swiss town evacuated due to imminent rockslide
May 25, 2023
Town evacuated due to imminent threat
Dangerous rockslide threatens Swiss village, residents evacuated.
The municipality of Brienz in southeastern Switzerland is on high alert as a potential rockslide looms. Experts warn that a significant event could occur within the next three weeks, with up to two million cubic meters of rock at risk of breaking loose.
Recent days have seen repeated dislodging of large boulders near the village, although they have not yet reached inhabited areas. The sliding speed of the endangered slope has accelerated to over 25 centimeters (about 10 inches) per day, while other parts of the mountain are also experiencing increased movement, likely due to recent rainfall.
Geologists propose several scenarios, with multiple major rockfalls being the most likely outcome. These rockfalls could partially threaten the village, potentially leading to destruction.
While a catastrophic rockslide involving the entire mass plummeting into the valley is currently less probable, it would have severe consequences, including the burial of a railway line and a river. Another potential scenario involves a rapid sliding motion.
Since May 12th, the entire village of Brienz, located in the picturesque Albulatal region, has been evacuated for safety reasons. Approximately 100 residents and numerous animals are affected by this precautionary measure.
The local authorities have declared the highest alert level, the RED phase, which restricts access to the village, its roads, and vulnerable areas.