Climate change seen as cause for mudslide in Switzerland

GENEVA: Switzerland's environmental protection office says the effects of climate change are partially to blame for a mudslide through a southeastern village that left eight people missing after a massive chunk of rock broke off an Alpine mountainside.

Federal Office for the Environment director Marc Chardonnens said Switzerland must do more to brace for climate change.

His office said Monday that Switzerland has experienced an average temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius since record-keeping began in 1864, over twice the world average of 0.9 degrees.

It said climate change effects include "urban heat islands" in Swiss cities, localised water shortages, and the instability of mountain flanks like the one that cracked and triggered Wednesday's mudslide in the village of Bondo.

Authorities on Saturday suspended the search for the eight missing.