2 killed, 320 evacuated after mudslide sweeps through Val Ferret, northern Italy

Two people were killed and more than 320 evacuated after a major mudslide swept through parts of Val Ferret, near the resort town of Courmayeur in northern Italy around 18:00 local time on August 6, 2018.

The slide took place after heavy rain in the Val Ferret area close to the Swiss border significantly increased levels of the Marghera River, bringing about 25 000 m3 (882 900 feet3) of material downstream. The front of the slide was around 700 meters (2 230 feet).

According to initial estimates, it will take 10 days to clear the river bed.

The casualties were in one of several cars swept away close to the town of Planpincieux.

“At a certain point, the street disappeared, you couldn’t make anything out anymore. You feel like an ant overwhelmed by the mountain,” an eyewitness who was just 4 cars from those swept away told La Stampa.

Some 123 people were evacuated by helicopters several hours after the event. On Tuesday morning, the Val Ferret municipality ordered the evacuation of another 200 people living in the area or visiting.

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Featured image credit: Patrizio Gabetti

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