Can you imagine living your whole life in a quaint little mountain town in the heart of Swiss ski country only to be mandatorily evacuated for a full decade because authorities finally decided to clear out a gigantic World War II era underground weapons cache nearby?
The BBC reports the 3,500 tons of ammunition that remain inside a former armory in Mitholz have been deemed a hazard by the Swiss defense ministry after careful review of a 2018 report which concluded their risk was grossly underestimated for the past 70 years. The removal operation would be very complex, rock would probably have to be removed layer by layer, and could take up to 10 years:
“Depending on how the work develops, residents should expect the evacuation to last up to more than 10 years.”
Luckily for the townsfolk, they have a bit of time to get their affairs in order as clean-up isn’t expected to begin until 2031. If for whatever reason, there was an imminent threat of explosion there exists an alternate plan for a rock mass to be placed on top of the armory to minimize risk. Currently the site is being closely monitored for temperatures, gas emissions, and rock movements.
images from wikimedia.org