Swiss Village Evacuated due to Fear of Rockfall


It is feared 2-million cubic meters of rock could hit the village of Brienz. As the Alps becomes more unstable other areas are under threat. NEW

An evacuation order has been issued to the 70 people that live in the village as they are considered to be at geological risk.

Some buildings in the village are moving due to subsidence and the village is threatened from above as the rock is judged to be unstable.

Geologists have warned that the rock movement was accelerating.

Part of the rockface is slipping at a rate of 32m (105ft) every year.

No-one who doesn’t live in Brienz are now allowed to enter, while all villagers must leave by this Friday at the latest.

“I love it here, Brienz is a lovely village, it’s quiet,” one young woman told Swiss media.

“It’s happened so quickly,” said another. “We all thought we would have more time, it’s a very strange feeling.”

See the full story on the BBC.

Swiss glaciers have lost more than half their volume in the last 85-years due to global warming as we have reported.

Mont Fort glacier, Switzerland

Mont Fort glacier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

The rising temperatures are melting the permafrost that holds the surface of the mountains together.

Permafrost is soil and rocky material that stays frozen continuously and normally lies beneath an “active layer” that melts and freezes depending on the season.

As the frozen “glue” that helps hold the rock faces of the Alps together begins to thaw, there is a growing risk of sudden rockfall.

Last summer there were some serious incidents in other parts of the Alps.

Many areas of the Alps are being monitored and with predictions of rises in temperatures it is feared the situation will only get worse.

As the resident of Brienz prepare to leave their homes they hope and expect to come back to their homes, but they have been issued with no guarantees.

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