The country must be evacuated

The country must be evacuated

The Swiss authorities have ordered the evacuation of the inhabitants of Brienz, a small town in the canton of Graubünden.

According to geologists, a mass of two million cubic meters of rock it could break loose at any moment and bury the village.

Experts say the mountain has been moving steadily since the last Ice Age, but recent measurements have suggested it a “strong acceleration”.

“The rockfall has become much more severe in recent weeks” e the weather conditions They also encourage part of the mountain to slide down.

Large boulders fell on the meadow above the village A threatening noise came from the mountain.

The old village lies It extends over the German-speaking and the Rhaeto-Romanic language area the Ostbünden region, southwest of Davos, at an altitude of around 1,150 meters and counts today less than 100 residents.

Brienz itself has moved a few centimeters every year for the last century, however The movement has accelerated over the past 20 years.

The various scenarios include the possibility of a sudden and large landslide with catastrophic consequences it is the least likely but cannot be ruled out.

Christian Gartmann, who sits on the crisis team for the city of Albula, which includes Brienz, said that was the case 60% chance for the stone to crumble in such a way that the consequences for the country would be limited.

The landslide that She moved about a meter a year, could also move slowly. However, there is also a 10% chance the entire mass of two million cubic meters can detach cause a disaster.

According to Gartmann, melting glaciers over the millennia has affected the precariousness of the rocks, but this is not a decisive factor due to “man-made” climate change in recent decades.

After rejecting the hypotheses of a Controlled demolition of the wall – too dangerous, since drilling or building in the rock would have been necessary huge containment barrier – The “wall” should have been at least 70 meters high to protect the village – that’s what the authorities decided the evacuation of residents by Friday.

“I wanted to come back to say hello to my parents’ house. We don’t know if our little village of Brienz will still exist in 14 days.Anna Bergamin, a woman who grew up in this mountain village but now lives in the valley, said in a Keystone-ATS interview.

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