Early in the morning of 14 April 2024, a large rock avalanche occurred on the flanks of Piz Scerscen in the Swiss Alps, close to the border with Italy. Fortunately, the landslide occurred at about 7 am, when the slopes are sparsely occupied, such that there is no indication of any loss of life.

Initial estimates are that the landslide had a runout distance of about 5 km. The best image that I have seen is this one, taken by the Swiss Alpine Club:-

The 14 April 2024 rock avalanche on Piz Scerscen in Switzerland.
© SAC Bernina.The 14 April 2024 rock avalanche on Piz Scerscen in Switzerland.

The landslide was sufficiently large to be detected on seismic instruments across the Alps.

The Swiss Seismological Service record is online.

The area from which this landslide originated suffered a large failure in January 2023, and subsequent smaller events too, such that mountaineers had been advised to avoid this part of the mountain.

On first inspection, this appears to be a large collapse (initial estimates are 1 million cubic metres) from a steeply inclined rockface. This appears to have undergone fragmentation at the foot of the initial slope, to form a long runout rock avalanche.

Large rock slope failures in high mountain areas cluster in time in the Spring and early summer. Much of Europe has been experiencing exceptional temperatures in recent weeks.


Many thanks to Jan Beutel from the University of Innsbruck for making me aware of this event, and for providing information about it.