Switzerland’s deadly flooding shows how vulnerable it is to natural disasters, government warns

In the Central European country of Switzerland, severe weather has resulted in at least four tragic deaths, leading federal politician Ignazio Cassis to voice concerns about the nation’s resilience against future natural disasters. The death toll includes three individuals in a landslide in Maggia Valley and another in the side valleys south of Rhone, according to Swiss public broadcaster SRF.

Cassis, a member of the Swiss Federal Council, made his statement while visiting Ticino, a canton that has suffered from severe rain, flooding, and landslides. Evacuations were carried out at camping sites along the Maggia River, and part of the small Visletto road bridge collapsed in the area. The village of Binn remains on high alert, as a 52-year-old man has been missing since Saturday evening.

Northward, the Rhone River experienced flooding in several areas of the Valais canton, submerging highways and railway lines. Swiss President Viola Amherd declared the situation as “tense” and urged citizens to comply with authorities’ instructions for safety.

Additionally, authorities in Ticino cannot eliminate the possibility of further victims due to the extreme weather conditions. The neighboring European country of Italy has endured similar weather hardships. Notable scenes from the Aosta Valley show rivers swelling as they flow down mountainsides and set off landslides, causing many villages to become isolated due to surging floodwaters. Firefighters in the Piedmont region were reportedly involved in approximately 80 rescue operations and evacuated about 200 people from the town of Cogne.

Researchers claim that extreme weather events such as those currently occurring in Switzerland and Italy will become increasingly common and intense due to global climate change.

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