Flood warnings issued across Switzerland as rain continues to fall

Flood warnings issued across Switzerland as rain continues to fall

After days of persistent rainfall across the country, the Swiss government has issued a high-danger flood warning for the Arve in Geneva and significant warnings for other rivers and lakes in Switzerland. Residents have been told to avoid waterways until the alert concludes.

Swiss rivers and lakes burst their banks

According to MeteoSwiss, rivers and lakes in Switzerland have become overloaded thanks to a combination of continued rainfall and excessive snowmelt in the mountains. As a result, the Arve and Rhône rivers in Geneva have reportedly burst their banks in some areas.

Flooding has also been reported along the Orbe River in Canton Vaud, with the authorities in Brugg, Canton Aargau, setting up temporary dams to stop streets from flooding. A level four “high danger” flood warning is in place on the Arve River in Geneva and Lake Bienne, while level three “considerable danger” warnings remain in place for the Aare River between Lake Thun and the Saane, the Rhine from the mouth of the Thur until Basel, the Doubs, Lake Neuchâtel, Lake Murten, the Sihl from Adliswil and the Limmat in Zurich

Residents told to avoid lakes and rivers in Switzerland

People in affected areas have been advised to avoid the banks of flooded rivers and lakes and not to drive or ride a bicycle through flooded roads. The federal authorities warned that some underground buildings are also at risk of flooding and advised people to listen to instructions issued by the emergency services via radio and the AlertSwiss app. At the time of writing, most flood warnings are expected to remain in place until December 14.

As a consequence of warmer temperatures, officials have also warned of a considerable danger of avalanches in Valais and parts of the central and northern Alps. 20 Minuten explained that the snow in the mountains is wetter and heavier because of the warmer temperatures, which is why avalanches are more likely. You can stay regularly updated on all the weather warnings using the Swiss Natural Hazards Portal.

Drier conditions on the way this weekend

Looking ahead, MeteoSwiss predicted that rain will continue to fall for the next few days, swelling the rivers further. Sunnier and colder conditions are expected to return on Friday and the weekend.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

Read more



Leave a comment