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Hurricane Force Winds Flatten Swiss Sports Festival

There had been some bad weather warnings, but no one expected this. Hurricane force winds of a hundred and thirty kilometers an hour ripped through a sports festival in the town of Biel blowing away everything in their path: trees, tents, even people. Thirty nine were injured, six seriously. The sports field was left devastated.

In other parts of the country, hail stones as big as golf balls rattled down. In Geneva, people ran for cover, leaving cars to their fate. Flights and trains were delayed. The extreme weather comes after a week of very high temperatures, and they came after along cold wet spring. Meteorologists say large amounts of snow melting suddenly in the Alps followed by a rapid return to cooler weather are responsible for the freak storm. For those who experienced it, it has been a nasty shock just as Switzerland was finally beginning to enjoy the summer. Imogen Foulkes, BBC News, Geneva.


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