The village that is about to be CRUSHED: Entire Swiss settlement evacuated because of


Swiss authorities have ordered residents to abandon a tiny mountain village in the eastern canton of Graubunden because of fears it could soon be buried beneath a collapsing mountainside.

A thick coat of fog covered the mountaintop overlooking the village of Brienz on Thursday, where vegetation has been replaced by a slope of mud and rocks.

Farm workers could be seen loading cows onto a truck and driving it out of the nearly deserted village. Some areas were cordoned off, with yellow warning signs in five languages that read: ‘Attention rockfall.’

An overview of the village of Brienz and its church in front of the zone of rockslide, eastern canton of Graubunden, Switzerland, May 11, 2023

An overview of the village of Brienz and its church in front of the zone of rockslide, eastern canton of Graubunden, Switzerland, May 11, 2023

Swiss authorities have ordered residents to abandon a tiny mountain village in the eastern canton of Graubunden because of fears it could soon be buried beneath a collapsing mountainside

Swiss authorities have ordered residents to abandon a tiny mountain village in the eastern canton of Graubunden because of fears it could soon be buried beneath a collapsing mountainside

Residents of the Brienz, Graubunden, were ordered by Swiss authorities to abandon the tiny mountain village. The cluster of houses is pictured in front of the zone of rockslide, May 11, 2023

Residents of the Brienz, Graubunden, were ordered by Swiss authorities to abandon the tiny mountain village. The cluster of houses is pictured in front of the zone of rockslide, May 11, 2023

Local authorities say Brienz is at risk because 2million cubic metres (2.6 million cubic yards) of rock could soon break off the mountain, damaging or outright crushing its quaint homes.

The centuries-old village straddles German and Romansch-speaking parts of the eastern Graubunden region, sitting south-west of Davos at an altitude of about 1,158 metres (3,800 feet). It has fewer than 100 residents.

The mountain and the rocks on it have been moving since the last Ice Age, local officials say. But measurements indicated a ‘strong acceleration over a large area’ in recent days, and ‘up to two million cubic metres of rock material will collapse or slide in the coming seven to 24 days’, officials said.

‘The rock moves at a speed of up to 36 metres (39 yards) per year,’ said Christian Gartmann, a member of the crisis management board of Albula, a municipality that includes Brienz. ‘We expect it to fall towards the village within the next few days or weeks.’

Brienz’s resident have been given until Friday evening to evacuate. The village’s mayor, Daniel Albertin, is confident all residents will have left by then.

‘This is a huge task for the entire community,’ he said.

One farmer, tending to the cows being evacuated, agreed.

Local authorities say Brienz is at risk because 2million cubic metres of rock could soon break off the mountain

Local authorities say Brienz is at risk because 2million cubic metres of rock could soon break off the mountain

A general view of the zone where rocks are falling and the village of Brienz, one day ahead of the deadline for habitants to evacuate in the canton of Graubunden, Switzerland, May 11, 2023

A general view of the zone where rocks are falling and the village of Brienz, one day ahead of the deadline for habitants to evacuate in the canton of Graubunden, Switzerland, May 11, 2023

Rocks are breaking off the mountain which could worsen, damaging or outright crushing its quaint homes in the village of Brienz, Switzerland

Rocks are breaking off the mountain which could worsen, damaging or outright crushing its quaint homes in the village of Brienz, Switzerland

A sign near the zone where rocks are falling in the village of Brienz, one day ahead of the deadline for habitants to evacuate in the canton of Graubunden

A sign near the zone where rocks are falling in the village of Brienz, one day ahead of the deadline for habitants to evacuate in the canton of Graubunden

A general view shows the rockslide zone posing a severe danger to the tiny village of Brienz

A general view shows the rockslide zone posing a severe danger to the tiny village of Brienz

The extent of the damage that could fall upon Brienz remains anyone's guess

The extent of the damage that could fall upon Brienz remains anyone’s guess 

'The rock can come down in sections, which would be the most favourable solution,' Gartmann said. 'It can also fall all at once, which would be disastrous for the village'

‘The rock can come down in sections, which would be the most favourable solution,’ Gartmann said. ‘It can also fall all at once, which would be disastrous for the village’ 

‘It’s just a big effort for us now,’ Hanneke Bonifaci said as she opened their enclosure. ‘It’s a very short time, but it’s doable.’ Climate change is putting Switzerland at increased risk of natural hazards, including an increase in erosion due to higher temperatures, Swiss authorities say.

The extent of the damage that could fall upon Brienz remains anyone’s guess.

‘The rock can come down in sections, which would be the most favourable solution,’ Gartmann said. ‘It can also fall all at once, which would be disastrous for the village.’

Residents of Brienz-Brinzauls attend an information meeting on the imminent evacuation of their village, in Tiefencastel, Switzerland, Tuesday 9 May 2023

Residents of Brienz-Brinzauls attend an information meeting on the imminent evacuation of their village, in Tiefencastel, Switzerland, Tuesday 9 May 2023

Distraught residents attend an information meeting on the imminent evacuation of Brienz. The municipality has closed the access road to the village; residents must evacuate their homes by Friday evening due to an impending rockslide

Distraught residents attend an information meeting on the imminent evacuation of Brienz. The municipality has closed the access road to the village; residents must evacuate their homes by Friday evening due to an impending rockslide

The village church stands in the village of Brienz in danger of the zone of rockslide, Switzerland, May 11, 2023

The village church stands in the village of Brienz in danger of the zone of rockslide, Switzerland, May 11, 2023



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