Raging Emme River Causes Destruction in Switzerland

The Emme river burst its banks in dramatic style yesterday, 24 July 2014, flooding several small villages around the Schangnau, in the district of Emmental, Bern canton. The raging torrent is being desribed as a “Flutwelle” (tidal wave or flood wave) by Swiss media.

Cars were washed away, trees, roads and bridges destroyed and homes flooded. One person had to be rescued by helicopter after being trapped by the torrent. Local media said that the whole valley is flooded and the raging river left a long trail of devastation in its wake, as can be seen from the video clip below.

The small village of Bumbach is reported to be the worst hit. Fortunately no injuries or fatalities occurred.

Around 100 litres per square metre fell in just 3 hours, leaving levels of the Emme at their highest for 300 years. In fact the heavy rain has been falling for several days, and the ground and farmland along the river was already saturated. Swiss weather experts say that the situation is similar in many parts of the northern Alps and any further rain could lead to more flooding or landslides. Levels of the river Aare and river Wiese are already high.