Disaster-prone regions mapped out

Huge amounts of driftwood clogged the Aare River after the Swiss capital was flooded in 2005 Keystone

Mapping of settled regions potentially at risk from natural disasters – flooding, avalanches, landslides and rock falls – is almost complete, the Federal Office for the Environment announced on Monday.

This content was published on May 26, 2014 - 22:24

The maps have been completed in 93% of regions, said Roberto Loat, who leads the annual production of maps identifying areas at risk.

Surveys of the few remaining at-risk settlements, which are spread throughout the cantons, should be completed by 2016, he said.

A next step will be to use the information to ensure that construction in at-risk areas takes these risks into account. In addition, most of the maps are available online, allowing private persons to take measures to prepare for potential disasters.

In the future, surveys of unsettled regions, including important routes of transit, will be conducted.

Switzerland is one of the first countries in the world to have carried out such a survey. Internationally, there is great interest in the know-how accumulated in Switzerland – for example, from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

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