Eight people are missing and hundreds have been evacuated from their homes after a landslide hit the town of Bondo in southeastern Switzerland. The erosion caused by the landslide left much damage within the town, which was evacuated shortly beforehand thanks to a recently installed warning system.

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Search and rescue forces in Switzerland have been operating over the past few hours in order to locate eight missing persons, including German and Austrian citizens, who have been missing for more than 24 hours after a landslide swept through the isolated Alpine valley town of Bondo yesterday (Wednesday), which is located near the Italian border. As a result of the landslide, more than 200 of Bondo’s residents were evacuated from their homes to a nearby town. It is still unknown at this point if there are any injuries or casualties.

According to local law enforcement, search efforts for the missing persons are being conducted in the Val Bondasca region with numerous helicopters. “The missing persons’ relatives don’t know exactly where they were,” stated local police official Andrea Mittner during a press conference held near the town. According to him, most of the missing persons are hikers and mountain climbers. It was also reported that thanks to a warning system installed following a similar landslide that hit the town five years ago, the residents were able to flee in time.

The moment the avalanche began

The moment the avalanche began Photo Credit: CNN/Channel 2 News

According to Mittner, the landslide caused an impact of 3.0 on the Richter scale, equivalent to a moderate earthquake. “One can only imagine the landslide’s intensity to cause an earthquake scenario,” Mittner said.