Eight people missing after Swiss landslide

ZURICH, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Rescue crews are searching for eight people including Germans, Austrians and Swiss who have been missing for more than a day after a landslide struck a remote Swiss mountain valley near the Italian border, police said on Thursday.

Authorities evacuated around 100 people from the village of Bondo and airlifted hikers from nearby huts in the eastern canton of Grisons after rocks and mud hit the area on Wednesday.

Police said they were unable to contact eight people, six of whom had been reported missing by relatives, despite intensified searches by teams including an army helicopter outfitted with thermal sensing technology as well as rescue dogs.

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Landslide strikes remote village in Switzerland
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Landslide strikes remote village in Switzerland
A general view taken on August 24, 2017 shows houses covered by stones after a landslide struck during the night of August 23 in the village of Bondo, Switzerland. As many as 14 people are feared missing after a massive landslide swept away a mountainside in the Swiss Alps, ripping apart buildings and forcing the evacuation of a village, police said on August 24. The landslide, which struck on August 23, sent mud, rocks and dirt flooding down the Piz Cengalo mountain into the outskirts of the village of Bondo, near the Italian border. About 100 people were evacuated, some airlifted out by helicopters. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Still image taken from video shows the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
A general view taken on August 24, 2017 shows the village of Bondo, Switzerland, covered by stones after a landslide struck during the night of August 23. As many as 14 people are feared missing after a massive landslide swept away a mountainside in the Swiss Alps, ripping apart buildings and forcing the evacuation of a village, police said on August 24. The landslide, which struck on August 23, sent mud, rocks and dirt flooding down the Piz Cengalo mountain into the outskirts of the village of Bondo, near the Italian border. About 100 people were evacuated, some airlifted out by helicopters. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Still image taken from video shows the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows mud and stones blocking a road in the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
A general view taken on August 24, 2017 shows houses covered by stones after a landslide struck during the night of August 23 in the village of Bondo, Switzerland. As many as 14 people are feared missing after a massive landslide swept away a mountainside in the Swiss Alps, ripping apart buildings and forcing the evacuation of a village, police said on August 24. The landslide, which struck on August 23, sent mud, rocks and dirt flooding down the Piz Cengalo mountain into the outskirts of the village of Bondo, near the Italian border. About 100 people were evacuated, some airlifted out by helicopters. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Still image taken from video shows the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows the remote village Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck the village in a remote Swiss valley. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows the remote village Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck the village in a remote Swiss valley. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
A worker is seen on an excavator as part of a street and bridge are covered by stones after a landslide struck during the night of August 23 in the village of Bondo, Switzerland, on August 24, 2017. As many as 14 people are feared missing after a massive landslide swept away a mountainside in the Swiss Alps, ripping apart buildings and forcing the evacuation of a village, police said on August 24. The landslide, which struck on August 23, sent mud, rocks and dirt flooding down the Piz Cengalo mountain into the outskirts of the village of Bondo, near the Italian border. About 100 people were evacuated, some airlifted out by helicopters. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Still image taken from video shows stones blocking a street the in the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows stones blocking a street the in the remote village of Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck it. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows the remote village Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck the village in a remote Swiss valley. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows the remote village Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck the village in a remote Swiss valley. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
Still image taken from video shows the remote village Bondo in Switzerland, August 23, 2017 after a landslide struck the village in a remote Swiss valley. REUTERS/LOCAL TEAM via Reuters TV NO ACCESS IT WEBSITES ITALY OUT SWITZERLAND OUT
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A separate group of six people also reported missing were later located unharmed in Italy, a Grisons police spokeswoman said.

The missing were described as hikers and climbers. No children or locals from the region were reported missing.

Austria's foreign ministry said a married Austrian couple were among those unaccounted for.

The landslide's force registered a magnitude of 3 on the Richter scale, police Lieutenant Andrea Mittner said, equivalent to a small earthquake that can be felt by people and might shake indoor objects.

"You can imagine just what a mass had to come down to cause an earthquake scenario," he said.

Bondo was to remain sealed off until 0800 GMT on Friday, Mittner said, as additional landslides were possible. About 120 rescue workers were on the scene.

(Reporting by Michael Shields and John Miller in Zurich; additional reporting by Francois Murphy in Vienna; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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