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Two missing after violent storm, large mudslide hit Swiss Alps

chamoson-mudslide-switzerland-august-2019

Two people, a 37-year-old man and a 6-year-old girl, are missing after a fast-moving mudslide hit Switzerland's Valais canton on Sunday night, August 11, 2019.

The event took place late Sunday after a violent hit the region, causing the Losentze river to overflow and sweep away two vehicles.

Authorities closed the roads near the town of Chamoson and a funicular linking Sierre with the resort of Crans-Montana due to hazards, the Reuters reports.

More than 70 rescuers, including a helicopter crew, searched for 2 people, trapped in one of the vehicles, through the night with no success. Valais police said Monday they have little hope of finding them.

It occurred almost a year after a huge mudslide engulfed part of the same city.

A rockfall that took place at 19:30 LT on August 12 between the villages of Randa and Herbriggen, cut off road and railway access to the mountain resort of Zermatt, 45 km (28 miles) SE of Chamoson. Authorities said the road access to the resort was expected to reopen at 11:00 LT, August 13.

SwissInfo said this region is regularly affected by natural forces. "Last month, parts of the resort were flooded after a stream burst its bank due to a pocket of meltwater from the glacier above. The biggest crisis occurred last winter when tourists were stranded for four days after transport links were severed following avalanches, heavy snow and rockfalls."

Featured image credit: Guy Monnet

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