A small mountain village in Switzerland has been evacuated due to a warning that a massive rock could collapse on the town. According to reports from the BBC on May 9th, the village of Brienz in the eastern Swiss region of Graubünden has been placed under an evacuation order due to the risk of a “monster rock.” Approximately 70 residents were forced to evacuate the area, and no one else is allowed to enter the village until further notice.
The local authorities have reported that a rock measuring 2 million cubic meters is expected to fall from the mountain and cover the village within the next 7-24 days. The location of the village itself has been deemed geologically unstable, with the land gradually sinking towards the valley. The village church steeple is leaning to one side, and large cracks have appeared in several buildings.
Despite previous stabilization efforts, the risk factors have continued to increase, including the movement of the mountain behind the village. Geologists have warned that the speed of the movement of the mountain cliff has increased. Local authorities, who originally planned to issue an evacuation order around this summer, have shifted their focus to “immediate evacuation.”
The BBC pointed out that the Swiss Alpine region is particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming. Despite strict building regulations and ongoing risk assessments, the melting of permafrost in high-altitude areas and the shrinking of glaciers has made the ground unstable. According to measurements taken last summer, Swiss glaciers are now only half the size they were 100 years ago.