Indicator natural hazards

Current status of mapping natural hazards

The cantons compile hazard maps for flooding, avalanches, landslides and fall processes to facilitate the planning of protection measures against natural hazards. The maps enable the identification of areas that might be flooded during storms, locations in which avalanches can occur and slopes on which landslides could arise. Based on the information provided, targeted measures can be taken (e.g. building regulations, emergency planning, construction of protective structures). This indicator shows the percentage of areas in Switzerland, for which such maps are available.100% relates to all built-up areas and key transport routes.

Assessment of the state
good good
Assessment of the trend
positive positive
No map available Fall processes (rock avalanches and rockfall): 9 Map available Fall processes (rock avalanches and rockfall): 23 Map available and implemented Fall processes (rock avalanches and rockfall): 68 No map available Landslides: 9 Map available Landslides: 28 Map available and implemented Landslides: 63 No map available Avalanches: 2 Map available Avalanches: 8 Map available and implemented Avalanches: 90 No map available Floods: 3 Map available Floods: 25 Map available and implemented Floods: 72
Proportion of mapped area in Switzerland according to danger categories, in %. State 1.1.2018

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOEN

According to the Federal Act on Hydraulic Engineering (HEA) and the Federal Act on Forest (ForA), the cantons are responsible for compiling hazard maps for all gravitational natural hazards (floods, avalanches, landslides and fall processes). The maps cover built-up areas and important transport routes. On 1.1.2018, 95% of the necessary hazard maps had been compiled. This means that the hazard mapping of Switzerland is almost complete. The mapping of new areas and for new hazard processes (e.g. surface runoff) has already begun. However, the maps will require periodic verification and updating.

The task for the future will be to close remaining gaps in the hazard maps and updating older ones. In addition, it is planned to map new types of hazards, such as surface runoff, groundwater outcrop and sewage pipe blockages, and sewage backwater.

The application of the hazard maps in the context of spatial planning, specifically communal land-use planning, remains a major challenge. 73% of the hazard maps have been applied up to now. Raising awareness among those who could be affected by the hazards and advising them so that they can take measures for their own protection also poses a major challenge.


Each year, FOEN carries out a standardised survey completed by the agencies responsible for natural hazards at canton level in order to establish progress in hazard mapping.

Last updated on: 04.07.2018

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