At least 4 dead, 1 missing after flooding in southern Switzerland

At least four people have died and another is missing due to flooding this weekend in southern Switzerland, according to local police and Swiss state media.

Three people were killed in a landslide in the Maggia Valley, Swiss public broadcaster SRF reported.

Police in Switzerland’s Valais canton said another man was found dead in a hotel in Saas-Grund, adding that initial findings suggest he could have been taken by surprise by the rapidly rising waters.

A search is also underway for a 52-year-old man who has been missing in the village of Binn since Saturday evening, Valais Cantonal Police added in a press release Sunday. The public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the case of the missing man in Binn and the man found dead in Saas-Grund, police said.

A flooded road near Sierre, western Switzerland, on June 30, 2024. - Boris Heger/AFP/Getty Images
A flooded road near Sierre, western Switzerland, on June 30, 2024. - Boris Heger/AFP/Getty Images

The floods are a result of a rapid increase in water levels of several rivers, including the Rhône, caused by storms and melting snow, police said in Sunday’s press release. Police added the flooding has also caused debris flows and numerous road closures.

The river Rhône overflowed in several places causing hundreds of people in the Canton of Valais to be evacuated, according to a local government statement on Sunday, which said that “major damage” had also been reported in the valleys near the Rhône River in Upper Valais.

As a result of the flooding, the Valais canton said it called on the army to provide support.

Meanwhile in France, the department of Haute-Saône, which is near the border with Switzerland, was also hit with strong storms overnight. “Last night, Haute-Saône was hit by violent storms with intense rainfall and strong gusts of wind,” the local government said in a post on X.

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