January 20, 2018

Thousands stranded after more heavy snow in the Alps

13 January 2018, 03:08 | Taylor George

UPDATED: 13000 tourists stranded in Zermatt, village cut off as avalanche risk raised to max

Heavy snow leaves thousands of tourists stranded at Swiss ski resort

Mud and rockslides, as well as flooding, have forced the closure of a number of roads across Valais, as has the risk of avalanches, which regional police have said is now at the highest possible level.

Officials from the town of Zermatt said roads were closed and trains services halted because of the snowy conditions and power outtages.

Evacuations are continuing after 13,000 tourists were trapped in the popular Swiss resort of Zermatt.

Tourists make their way to the heliport prior to their evacuation by helicopter after heavy snowfall and avalanches trapped more than 13,000 tourists at Zermatt, which is one of Switzerland's most popular ski resorts on January 10, 2018.

Heavy snowfall closed down the famed Zermatt resort in Switzerland Tuesday, leaving almost 13,000 tourists stranded there. Nearby Saas-Fee also remains cut off.

A man removes snow from his car at the Sestriere skiing resort in the Italian Alps. Pic Alessandro Di Marco  ANSA via AP
A man removes snow from his car at the Sestriere skiing resort in the Italian Alps. Pic Alessandro Di Marco ANSA via AP

Lorenz Meier, CEO of Geopraevent, told Reuters that due to their avalanche monitoring system the roads around the area were automatically closed, so no one was hurt or injured.

Meanwhile, an aerial search has failed to locate British snowboarder John Bromell, 39, who went missing in the French resort of Tignes on Sunday. "It's a bit romantic", Imesch said, adding, "there is no panic". The snow has blocked all roads and rail lines leading to the resort in the southern Swiss canton of Valais, which was also hit by power outages.

But the 29 people staying there managed to escape unharmed through the garage.

The heavy snowfall has caused casualties across the region.

French forecasters said snowfall in the Savoie area of the Alps was only seen "once in every 30 years" after an estimated 1.8 meters fell over 36 hours. He had been skiing with his family but went for a last run on his own, despite worsening weather, and failed to return.

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