Rocks collapsed during the night from Friday to Saturday upstream from the Rarogne-Niedergesteln (VS) quarry. The 76 residents of a neighborhood evacuated on Friday were unable to reach their homes. The site remains under surveillance.
Rocks fell around four in the morning in the quarry and in the bed of the Bietschbach. It was not necessary to intervene because the watercourse was not blocked, indicated to Keystone-ATS Isabelle von Roten, chief of information of the staff of communal conduct. But the 76 residents of the neighborhood located near the stream and evacuated on Friday cannot return home except, under the supervision of firefighters, to get medicine or take care of animals. This measure will remain in effect until Monday noon.
The rain seems to be at the origin of the major landslide on Friday, indicates Georges Seewer, replacing head of the cantonal driving body. The site remains unstable and under close surveillance. At the beginning of the afternoon, a second hamlet of the town was evacuated and its access strictly prohibited. This measure, which only concerned a few families, was lifted at the end of the afternoon. However, the access road to this area remains closed.
Zermatt accessible again
The degree of avalanche danger remains high in the canton (degree 4) which calls for the greatest caution and asks the population to “limit their movements, to respect the signs and especially not to approach the avalanche corridors” .
Roads and railway sections remain closed. The Löstchberg loading station was still closed due to the avalanche danger on the Valais side. Piggyback transport is also interrupted on the Furka axis, the road being closed between Realp and Hospental (UR). Rail lines are also cut in the Andermatt region (UR).
On the other hand, Zermatt is no longer cut off from the world. The Täsch-Zermatt railway line could be put back into service on Saturday around noon, the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB) company said on its Twitter account. Replacement buses run on the section between Visp and Täsch. The A2 motorway, closed since Thursday, was able to be reopened early Saturday afternoon. In the canton of Vaud, the cantonal road Lavey-Morcles also reopened in the morning.
Since Saturday, the Rhine is again open to navigation between Basel and the Kemps lock, in Alsace, announced the company of Rhine Ports. However, navigation remains closed until further notice between Basel and Birsfelden (BL) due to high floods.
The water level had reached 843 cm on Friday around 10 a.m., well above the flood point 2a. It then descended to reach 791 cm on Saturday shortly after 3 p.m. According to forecasts from the Federal Office for the Environment, the recession should continue over the weekend and flood level 1 should be reached on Sunday afternoon, which will allow traffic to resume.
In the Jura, the Doubs reached a high level overnight in St-Ursanne. Some cellars were flooded, but the water level then stabilized, told Keystone-ATS Damien Scheder, head of the Jura population protection service. The authorities remain attentive, while further precipitation is expected on Monday.