Switzerland – 2 Missing After Flash Floods in Valais

Two people are missing after flash flooding in the canton of Valais (Wallis in German), in southwestern Switzerland.

The area saw violent storms on 11 August, 2019. Heavy rain from the storm caused the Losentze river to overflow, triggering flooding and mudslides in the commune of Chamoson. Two cars were sept away in the torrent. One of the cars was believed to be empty and was later found by police search teams. The other car, thought to have 2 passengers, is still missing.

Valais police said the search for the two missing persons was interrupted during the evening of 12 August, but would resume early on 13 August. In total more than 70 personnel are engaged in search operations, including fire service, civil defence, police and a helicopter.

Police said several roads have been closed in parts of toe canton owing to landslide damage. Rain from the storm has left homes flooded and strong winds downed trees and damaged roofs.

According to Meteo Swiss figures, Sion, about 10 km east of Chamoson, recorded 15mm of rain in 1 hour from 18:00 on 11 August, 2019. Heavier rain was recorded further east, with Brissago seeing 121mm in 24 hours to 12 August, and Biasca 104.2mm.

About 40km to the south west of Brissago and across the Swiss-Italian border, roads were blocked after a landslide in Valstrona in the Piedmont Region of Italy on 12 August.

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