[Video] 1 million tonnes of rock falls in Swiss mountain rockslide
On July 30, local authorities confirmed that more than a million tonnes of rock had fallen from a cliff face in Canton Schwyz, tumbling down into the valley below. Thankfully, nobody was injured by the falling rocks.
Rocks rain down in the Bisisthal area
The first landslide in the Bisisthal region was reported early in the morning on July 30 near the town of Muotathal. Many paths and hiking trails in the local mountains had already been closed so thankfully nobody was hurt, but a large number of rocks did fall in the initial landslide, only to be pushed further into the valley by further rockslides.
Several other landslides occurred throughout the day, causing over a million tonnes of debris - around 450.000 cubic meters of rock - to collapse into the municipality. The fallen rock had been under observation by scientists and geologists for many years due to its risk of collapse, so even though the rockfall was dramatic, it was not totally unexpected.
Passers-by capture huge Swiss rockfall on video
Even though there were not many people in the area at the time due to rockfall warnings and route closures, a number of passers-by managed to capture the moment the rock face collapsed. Local mountaineers had recently observed a greater number of small boulders accumulating at the base of the cliff face, so people expected the rocks to fall imminently and were able to set up cameras and webcams to capture the moment.
Since the location of the rockfall was not inhabited, most of the damage done by the collapse affected local pastureland. The cleanup operation will depend on whether or not the debris from the rockfall moves or shows signs of further collapse in the coming days.
Video: YouTube.com / gerzgl