In the morning of 23 August last year, 3.1 million cubic meters of rock fell from Piz Cengalo to Val Bondasca, the volume of 3000 single-family homes. It was one of the biggest landslides in Switzerland since the big event in Glarner Elm in 1881.
Eight mountain hikers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, who found themselves behind Bondo in the side valley, have been missing since the landslide. They are considered dead.
After the landslide, Murgänge rolled off the Val Bondasca and hit Bondo hard. Earthquakes spilled parts of the 150-soul village and also the neighboring Spino, Sottoponte and Promontogno were hit by the Murgängen. All villages belong to the community of the Bregaglia valley.
A total of 500,000 cubic meters of land-shifting material flowed to Bondo and filled the retention basin, which could not contain this volume and flooded it. 147 people had to be evacuated for several weeks until the protective structures and infrastructure were somewhat restored. Ten people could not return home.
A total of 99 buildings, including numerous stables and Maiensässe, damaged, of which a third is irreparable. The damage amounts to 12.5 million francs. In addition, there was damage to the community infrastructure of more than ten million francs. The total damage is estimated at 41 million francs.
The evacuation and restoration work supported the community and canton forces by civil protection and the army. These provided 4400 service days until December.
Bondo and Bergell have experienced a nationwide wave of solidarity. Donations of almost 14 million francs went to Swiss Solidarity, the mountain community and the municipality of Bregaglia.
One year after the landslide, the infrastructure was largely rebuilt and a larger temporary reservoir for debris was created. The municipality presented the federal government with a concept for definitive protective constructions. The costs are estimated at 23 million francs.
Meanwhile, the mountain goes back to Piz Cengalo. Three million cubic meters are on the move, almost as many as in 2017. Experts do not exclude major landslides this year. In addition, renewed debris flooding threatened by the fallen landslide material in Val Bondasca.
The protective structures are designed for a first large debris flow and must give people enough time to get to safety. Further evacuations afterwards are not excluded. This is the new reality for the Bondo people. (SDA)
Posted on 23.08.2018 | Updated at 06:06