Switzerland battered by heavy rains and floods

Flooding was particularly heavy around Lenzburg in canton Aargau Keystone

Torrential rain, thunderstorms and flash floods have inundated towns and villages, especially in parts of northwest, central and eastern Switzerland in recent days. 

This content was published on June 9, 2016 minutes

Heavy rain over the past few days has caused damage to homes and infrastructure in cantons Solothurn, Aargau and Basel-Country, with numerous cellars and roads flooded. The police and fire services were called out 400 times in Aargau alone, and in several areas civil protection volunteers were out in force. In the town of Stetten 60 millimetres of rain fell in three hours. 

Rail services were affected between Lenzburg and Othmarsingen on the Zurich-Aargau line. In Oftringen a barn was set ablaze after being struck by lightning but no one was injured. On Wednesday afternoon the A1 motorway was flooded near Lenzburg causing tailbacks for over an hour. 

A flooded road in Dottikon, canton Aargau Keystone

In cantons Basel Country and Basel City in northwest Switzerland the police and fire services received 400 calls for help as streams and rivers overflowed. Several local roads were inundated, as well as the A2 and A3 motorways near Pratteln, Liestal and Augst. A cantonal insurance firm estimates several million Swiss francs worth of damage.

Storms and heavy rains battered canton Basel Country causing tailbacks on the A2 motorway Keystone

The Solothurn police received 110 calls for help, mostly due to flooded cellars and small landslides.

A landslide in Lüchingen in canton St Gallen on June 4 Keystone

In central Switzerland the region between Bern and Chiètres in canton Fribourg was badly hit by torrential rain. Trains on the Bern-Neuchâtel and Bern Brünnen Westside and Chiètres were delayed. 

In Zurich and Fribourg 58 millimetres of rain fell in 12 hours. 

A barn in La Roche, canton Fribourg, damaged by flooding and storms on June 5 Keystone

French-speaking Switzerland has generally escaped the heavy rains and flooding. The MeteoSwiss weather serviceExternal link warns, however, that the entire Jura region could witness violent storms and floods similar to those on Tuesday, which caused power shortages in canton Basel Country and the closure of the Transjurane (A16) motorway. 

A violent storm hit Geneva on Wednesday afternoon causing a large tree to fall across the 12 tram line, delaying traffic. No injuries were reported. 

The map below shows detailed flood alert information across Switzerland. Zoom in to find out more.

External Content

After days of continual rain, the MeteoNewsExternal link weather service warns of a high risk of floods and landslides in the central and eastern alpine region. Heavy rain is expected to continue in the German-speaking regions and may cause local damage on Thursday, MeteoNews said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Around 50mm of rain, and up to 80mm in some areas, is expected across the central and eastern central alpine region. The levels of streams and rivers such as the Aare, Thur, Emme, Petite Emme and Sihl are expected to rise until Friday.

Getting messy: rock fans enjoying the rain at the Greenfield Openair festival in Interlaken on June 8 Keystone

Were you affected by the storms and flooding? Tell us about your experience.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?