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Heavy rain floods Zurich streets, causes travel chaos

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Switzerland suffered one of its heaviest rainfalls on record during a thunderstorm that caused flooding and travel chaos on Tuesday (13 July) in its financial capital, Zurich, writes John Revil, Reuters.

More than 4 cm (1.57 inches) of rain fell on Zurich overnight and over 3.1 cm of rain fell in 10 minutes on Waldegg, just outside the city, broadcaster SRF said.

That compared with the record 4.11 cm that fell in 10 minutes on Lausanne during a storm in August 2018, it said.

Sections of Zurich’s bus and tram network were halted because fallen trees blocked lines, and some streets were flooded.

Workers cut off a lamp damaged by a broken tree during thunderstorms and torrential rain in Zurich, Switzerland July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
A view of a tree that fell on the overhead wire of a tram line during thunderstorms and torrential rain in Zurich, Switzerland July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

City authorities gave no details of any injuries or deaths.

“I went out for a walk in the early morning and the rain just didn’t stop. There were huge trees that had been brought down in the night, it was really scary,” Zurich resident Jessica Adams told Reuters.

The southern canton of Wallis warned people to stay away from rivers as water levels rose.

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The Meteo service at SRF said further rain was forecast and that flooding was likely to worsen, especially around lakes and rivers. It also warned of landslides.

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