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3 missing in a landslide in Swiss Alps as heavy rains cause flash floods

Cleanup work is underway at the Sorte village, community of Lostallo, Southern Switzerland, after a landslide, caused by the bad weather and heavy rain in the Misox valley, in Lostallo, Southern Switzerland, Saturday, June 22 2024. (Samuel Golay/Keystone via AP) Cleanup work is underway at the Sorte village, community of Lostallo, Southern Switzerland, after a landslide, caused by the bad weather and heavy rain in the Misox valley, in Lostallo, Southern Switzerland, Saturday, June 22 2024. (Samuel Golay/Keystone via AP)
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Vienna, Austria -

Three people were missing on Saturday after massive thunderstorms and rainfall in southeastern Switzerland caused a landslide, authorities said.

One woman was pulled out alive after being buried by the landslide in the Alpine valley of Misox in Graubunden. A rescue operation for the three others is ongoing.

The rockslide hit a group of houses in the municipality of Lostallo. Rescuers have been searching all day Saturday with excavators and specially-trained search dogs. William Kloter from the Swiss police, who is heading the rescue operations, told local media that he was hoping to find the three missing persons alive.

Swiss President Viola Amherd said she was shocked by the scale of the damage caused by severe weather.

"My thoughts are with those affected. I thank the emergency personnel for their tireless efforts in this difficult situation," Amherd said on X.

Elsewhere in Switzerland, the popular tourist destination of Zermatt in the southern canton of Valais near the iconic Matterhorn mountain remains inaccessible. Heavy rains and melting snow have caused the Mattervispa River to overflow, cutting off the village.

Dramatic videos showed the otherwise small river that flows through Zermatt turning into a muddy flash flood, partially submerging streets in the popular ski resort.

The Matterhorn-Gotthard Railway halted operations with no alternative transportation available, the railway company announced on social media on Saturday morning.

Emergency services in the canton of Valais were on high alert over the levels of the Rhone River, which reached its peak on Saturday. Authorities there evacuated 230 residents on Saturday, with the municipality of Chippis particularly affected, as it is situated on the left bank of the Rhone River.

Authorities have warned residents to avoid lower parts of their houses, including cellars, stay away from swelling rivers and refrain from parking on bridges. People were also advised against filming or photographing the floods for safety reasons.

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