The heaviest storms for ten years recently swept across Austria, French Riviers, Italy and Switzerland, leaving a trail of casualties and devastation.
The heaviest storms for ten years recently swept across Austria, French Riviers, Italy and Switzerland, leaving a trail of casualties and devastation. In the Oetztal region of the Austrian Tyrol, hundreds of tourists were stranded by flooding caused by melting glaciers and heavy rain. Torrents of water continued to crash down from the mountains September 19, destroying bridge and causing extensive damage to crops.
At Innsbruck, sand-bag barriers were erected to withstand the waters, and the Austrian Air Rescue Service was called to rescue tourists. Temporary clearance was made to roads blocked with debris but it was expected to be weeks before they were permanently restored.
Floods in the Tyrol were reported to be subsiding September 21 but the forecast was more rain and thunderstorms "with a tendency toward improvement".
In Italy, some 3000 were rendered homeless and 36 were estimated killed in floods and landslides which have cut nearly every major north-south road and railway in the Italian peninsular. Two days of torrential rain blocked roads and washed away bridges on the Riviera. Sand washed up by boiling waves brought traffic between Nice and Cannes to a slow crawl.