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Avalanche danger causes chaos across Alps

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By Euronews
Heavy snow causes chaos in Europe's top ski resorts
Heavy snow causes chaos in Europe's top ski resorts   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Heavy snow across the Alps is causing chaos in Europe's top ski resorts.

Some, including Zermatt in Switzerland have been cut off due to avalanche risk.

The last time the risk was over such a widespread area was the “avalanche winter” of 1999”.

(In February 1999, an avalanche hit the village of Evolene in the Swiss canton of Valais, killing 12 people. Just two days later, more than 30 people died when an even bigger avalanche engulfed Galtuer in Austria.)

The Swiss restaurant Le Pas de Maimbre published photos of the heavy quantity of snow outside their windows.

Facebook: Le Pas de Maimbré

In Scotland heavy snow meant a helicopter crew had to pull two stranded skiers to safety after blizzard conditions at the weekend.

In Italy around 5,000 people including tourists, workers and locals are said to be stuck in the ski resort of Cervinia due to the snow.

Austria has also been hit ...the avalanche risk there is the highest for 19 years.

In some parts of the Swiss Alps they've had three metres of fresh snow in just one week - a level last reached in 1999.


In Romania snow drifts have left several villages isolated, forcing snow ploughs and other vehicles to work round the clock. In Constanta, at the seaside, heavy winds whipped up the sea and the harbour was closed. In Bucharest, it was snowing throughout Monday, which caused traffic chaos. Drivers had to queue for ages at junctions, while pedestrians could barely cross the street.

Forecasters say the avalanche danger and severe weather warnings are set to ease in some parts.