Maximum flood warnings issued in Switzerland
Maximum flood warnings have been issued in parts of central Switzerland due to torrential rainfall, local media reported.
As of Friday, Lake Lucerne, Lake Thun and Lake Biel have remained at the highest flood warning level (5) after continued, intense rainfall throughout the week, Xinhua news agency quoted the local media reports as saying.
Arcinfo reported on Friday morning that the situation in Lake Lucerne is particularly tense as its water level is 4 cm away from flooding the city centre.
According to the Neue Zurcher Zeitung daily newspaper, the basements of some homes along the Reuss Riverbank have already been flooded and the fire brigade has been pumping water out of narrow streets.
Swissinfo reported that the major cities such as Basel and Bern are also facing high flood risks, with the River Aare reaching a flow rate of 540 cubic meteres per second, nearing the 600 level recorded in the major floods of 2005.
In Bienne, RJB online radio reported that municipal authorities expect the lake to reach a record level of 431 metres by Friday.
Swiss Radio Television RTS reported that President Guy Parmelin visited Lucerne on Thursday to assess the situation and extend his thanks to rescue workers.
The heavy rain and unusually cold temperatures have been attributed to a moist, low pressure system centred over Germany, where over 90 people have died.
It is expected to cause sustained rainfall in Switzerland until July 19. -IANS
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