Report: further landslides likely in Bondo

The Swiss village of Bondo that was hit by a massive landslide in August is at risk of further rockfalls.

Report: further landslides likely in Bondo
File photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

A group of experts appointed by the canton of Graubünden delivered their findings on Friday, news agencies reported.

They told the media a very rare chain of events led to the collapse of one side of the Piz Cengalo mountain and the resulting landslide.

Three million cubic metres of rock, the volume of 3,000 houses, collapsed on to the glacier dislodging within seconds a huge amount of ice that was then pulverized or melted.

The melted ice then sent a wave of mud, rock and debris crashing into the Bondasca valley below, according to the 20-strong expert team set up to look into the causes of the disaster.

They warned that further rockfalls are likely as more than one million cubic metres of rock is still in motion.

Heavy rainfall could result in further landslides in the coming years.

No inhabitants of Bondo were injured in the disaster of August 23rd, but eight people hiking in the area were reported missing.

More than one hundred people had to be evacuated and several buildings were destroyed.

It was two months before most of the evacuated could return home.

Bondo residents have been told that reconstructing the village could take years.



Norway rescue workers end search for landslide survivors

Norwegian rescue workers on Tuesday abandoned hope of finding survivors from a landslide that buried homes in a village six days ago, killing 10 people.

Norway rescue workers end search for landslide survivors
Photo: AFP

While three people remain unaccounted for, authorities said they are now presumed dead, bringing the official death toll from the landslide to 10, though only seven bodies have been recovered.

“We no longer have hope of finding people alive in the landslide,” Ida Melbo Øystese, police chief for Norway's eastern district, told a press briefing on Tuesday.

“Ten people have lost their lives, three are still missing,” she added.

“We have examined all the areas where it is possibly imaginable that someone has survived. We have done everything in our power,” Melbo Øystese stressed.

While no longer hoping to find survivors, the search continues for the bodies of those still missing.

Rescue workers have tackled snow and freezing temperatures in the search in and around the village of Ask about 25 kilometres northeast of Oslo.

The landslide hit in the early hours of December 30th, sweeping away nine buildings.

The seven recovered bodies, including those of a two-year-old girl, her father and her pregnant mother, were pulled out of the tangled mix of debris, earth and snow.

Rescue efforts had to be temporarily halted earlier on Tuesday when the earth began to shift again, although no one was hurt.

The landslide also left 10 people injured and more than 1,000 people from the municipality of Gjerdrum were evacuated, although some have since returned to their homes.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who went to Ask on Wednesday, said the landslide was “one of the largest” that Norway had ever experienced.

Local residents have left candles near the site of the tragedy.

The earth that shifted contains a specific clay called quick clay, present in Norway and Sweden, which can turn to fluid when overstressed.