Swiss government says country is ‘vulnerable’ to natural disasters


Severe weather causing damaged infrastructure and at least four deaths in the mountainous central European country of Switzerland has forced one federal politician to ponder if the country is capable of weathering future storms.


A federal council member has reacted to extreme weather events in Switzerland that have left at least four people dead.

Three people were killed in a landslide in Maggia Valley according to Swiss public broadcaster SRF, as local police found the body of a man in the side valleys south of Rhone.

“Are we going to experience one catastrophe after another every summer? Or is this an exception? Nobody knows. But certainly, the accumulation of such events worries us and shows how vulnerable we are,” Swiss Federal Council member Ignazio Cassis said on Sunday.

Cassis delivered the warning while visiting the impacted Swiss canton of Ticino that has been lashed by severe rain, flooding and landslides.

Camping sites along the Maggia River were evacuated, and part of the small Visletto road bridge collapsed.

In the village of Binn, a 52-year-old man has been missing since Saturday evening.

Farther north, the Rhone River burst its banks in several areas of Valais canton, flooding a highway and a railway line.

Swiss President Viola Amherd wrote on social media platform [**X**](eavy storms have caused major damage in several regions of 🇨🇭) that heavy storms caused “major” damage in Switzerland and the “situation remains tense”. “Please take care of yourselves and follow the instructions of the authorities,” she said according to the post.

Antonio Ciocco, head of Cantonal Police Ticino, said authorities could not rule out the possibility of more victims in Ticino due to the severe weather.

Neighbouring European countries have been similarly battered by the weather, which researchers warn will become more common and intense due to climate change.

Firefighters say they carried out at least 80 rescue operations in northern Italy as the region was lashed by floods, thunderstorms and landslides. At least 200 people were evacuated from the northern Italian town of Cogne.

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