Huge Rock Slide Misses Village by a Whisker

Residents of Brienz, Switzerland, evacuated last month, just in case
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2023 11:54 AM CDT
Massive Rock Slide Stops Just Short of Village
A general view shows the village of Brienz, Switzerland, after the rock slide.   (Michael Buholzer/Keystone via AP)

Residents of the tiny Swiss village of Brienz had to evacuate last month because geologists feared a massive rock slide was imminent. The geologists were proved to be correct overnight Thursday, though the massive rock slide stopped short of the village by a matter of feet. Remarkable images show the rocks just shy of the settlement, reports the BBC. Somewhere around 50 million cubic feet of rock came down the mountain, about two-thirds of the amount thought to be vulnerable, per the AP. "This is very good news, because the danger ... to the village has become much smaller," says geologist Stefan Schneider.

Residents still can't return, and it's not clear when authorities will give the all clear to do so, but, all in all, the close call is being received as good news. "We can say that today is one of the best days since the evacuation," says Daniel Albertin, the head of the local council. "The wait for the mountain was long ... but nothing is damaged in the village and no inhabitants were harmed." The village, at an altitude of 3,800 feet, has fewer than 100 residents. (More avalanche stories.)

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