On August 23, 2017, the flank of Piz-Cengalo breaks: after the landslide with eight dead, Bondo strives for normality, but the next setback is certain.
This Wednesday morning there seems to be no sign that August 23, 2017 will be a black day for Bondo: the dog days are coming to an end, the sun shines over the 200-soul village in Graubünden. But at 9:30 am sirens suddenly go off: the early warning system, which was installed after a landslide in 2011, sounds the alarm
In case of emergency, residents have to wait for further instructions on the first floor of their house. And they are then: evacuate! "We started as we were dressed, with the apron, we had nothing else with us," Silvia Salis remembers in her "Blick". "Then we flew to the hospital by helicopter. Everything was already filled. We were trembling. "The shock continues: even today the 82-year-old drug is taking.
Three million cubic meters in motion
When ripcords, radar, laser scanners or infrared meters detect a landslide, the inhabitants of Bondo have about four minutes before their setback falls on them. The earth masses, known in the jargon as mudflows, run relatively slowly and slowly through the Bondasca Valley with its river of the same name. On this Wednesday morning, however, so many boulders and boulders will never fail: about three million cubic meters move.
Photo gallery: How the landslide of Bondo came about
While the Piz Cangalo collapses on the north-eastern flank, Anna Giacometti is sitting in a meeting. The president of Bondo's mother Bregaglia is immediately disturbed when the mountain growls. She rushes into the village, runs through the narrow streets and calls, you have to clear Bondo.
But the landslide is – apparently – running smoothly: the avalanche is being delayed by old debris, which was contracted in 2011. A catch basin, created in the episode, slowed the flow, so that only the main road 3 together with the new concrete bridge and four buildings were destroyed.
Eight people buried by rubble
What the residents do not yet know: in the Bondasca valley it is not in the case of damage to property. Twelve stables have been leveled there, but more importantly, eight people miss out in groups of two in the Sciora hut when the mountain collapses.
From a newly engaged couple from Solothurn and holidaymakers from Baden-Württemberg and Styria, every track is missing: only in August 2018 will the search be officially canceled. Other hikers can still be rescued with a helicopter from the Sciora and the Sasc-Furä hut.
A small bright spot in these dark hours is the solidarity of the Swiss: "As soon as the event became known, volunteers registered immediately, while others offered their apartments and houses," Christian Gartmann underlined in the "20-minute" interview. The crisis team knows that the evacuees live free, and money is also provided by Swiss Solidarity: the fellow citizens donated just under six million francs.
Indomitable Grisons: mountain in the blood
The spokesperson for the crisis team knows that the evacuees live free. Money is also provided by Swiss Solidarity: the fellow citizens donated just under six million francs.
In Bondo, after the landslide immediately started searching and clearing and two days later, the residents get the green light for the return. The all-clear, however, comes too early: thunderstorms put an end to the sunny weather – and bring rain along, causing the masses to slide again. Excavators who had already cleared the first rubble in Bondo were toppled – and the villagers had to find emergency shelter for the night again.
Only barely two months and three smaller landslides later, people can finally return home. The villagers show on the one hand the immobility that Graubünden says: they celebrate their comeback with a party – and on the other hand they are afraid of the return of the electoral laurels. "We have life in the mountains in the blood and we will certainly not give up", says Anna Giacometti's father.
«Fear still lives»
At the same time, the retired teacher and village archivist of the "Luzerner Zeitung" admits: "The fear is still alive, it makes some uneasy and the others apathetic." Arnoldo Giacometti will process the events in a book. The 81-year-old felt "a need": "We are by no means back to normal."
This also has to do with the enormous mass of the landslide: twelve dredgers are in use 20 hours a day until November to empty the catch area. The Bondasca Valley remains closed for months, a yard and seven houses in Bondo and Sottoponte have to be demolished: damage to property is estimated in December to 41 million francs and
After the landslide is before the landslide
One year after the disaster, the superficial scratches are treated cosmetically. The excavators have moved, dams and reservoirs have been restored and with the exception of ten people all villagers have returned to Bondo, which is 823 meters above sea level.
The Piz Cengalo is incomparably more powerful. The top is 3369 meters high – and still a source of danger: finally, in July 2018, movements in the rock are measured, resulting in smaller outlets. The rubble slope is 40 meters high in the valley. It is quite possible that the weather will rain in heavy rain: the next landslide in the Bergeller Alps will certainly come.
Picture gallery: Bondo people
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