One person died and another missing after landslides caused by heavy rains cut roads and isolated villages, AFP learned from authorities on Wednesday. Occurring overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, these bad weather, which also triggered overflows of rivers, caused major damage in the mountainous district of Villach-Land in Carinthia in the south of the country, on the border with Italy and Slovenia.
“A resident was unfortunately found dead outside his house,” a local police spokeswoman told AFP, without giving further details. According to the APA press agency, it is an 82-year-old man who was carried away by a mudslide. Rescuers and soldiers called in for reinforcement are also trying to locate another person who was in the car, said district manager Bernd Riepan. “We are fighting on several fronts,” he continued. “We sent several helicopters (…) but some farms are very remote”. According to him, “many” houses are partially buried but their exact number remains unknown.
Melanie Reiter, spokesperson for the Red Cross in Carinthia, explained that “three villages were completely cut off from the world”, stressing that “the situation is worrying”.
The footage showed streets full of debris and rivers bursting their banks.
According to APA, an alert has also been issued in the neighboring province of Salzburg in the face of the risk of flooding. It fell in places in a few hours “as much as in a normal month of June”, underlined Gerhard Hohenwarter, of the Central Institute of Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG), quoted by APA. Unheard of since the start of the measurement survey.
Austria is experiencing a strong heat wave this week accompanied by a series of thunderstorms. The multiplication of extreme events in Europe is, according to scientists, a direct consequence of global warming.
letelegramme Fr Trans