December 5, 2023

Floods in Switzerland – Affecting navigation on the Rhine River and Geneva – Science


The Rhine River near Basel is currently unfit for shipping. In several other cantons, rivers partially overflowed their banks, as in Freiburg and Bern.

From the Environmental Protection Agency

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Look at the moving barrage on the Arve.

Photo: Marcial Trezzini/Keystone/DPA

Basel (dpa). After heavy rains, the Rhine River near Basel was closed to navigation on Wednesday due to flooding. In Geneva, five bridges over the Rhône-Arve tributary were closed as a precaution.

The border triangle between Switzerland, Germany and France on the Rhine River was affected, according to what the Swiss authorities reported. According to the Keystone-SDA news agency, a shipping ban was implemented from the Swiss city of Rheinfelden via Basel to Kempes in France. According to forecasts by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, floods on the Rhine River are expected to reach their peak at midday and then slowly recede.

In Geneva, the Arve River turned into a torrent with a discharge rate of 1,000 cubic meters of water per second, three times the usual amount. The closure of five bridges over the river caused traffic chaos early in the morning due to the interruption of several tram and bus lines. Barriers were set up along the river as a precaution. According to the SRF channel, the reason for the large amounts of water was not only rain, but also high temperatures on the mountains, which led to a lot of water melting.

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In many other cantons, rivers have partly burst their banks, as for example in Freiburg and Bern. Roads were closed in Valais due to the risk of landslides.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:231115-99-953209/2