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Storms raise avalanche risk in Swiss resorts

Road sign by a snow covered house
Overnight storms resulted in heavy snowfall in mountainous regions. SRF-SWI

Several areas of Switzerland are at elevated risk of avalanches as overnight storms left their mark. Some rail services have been disrupted, particularly in the southeastern part of the country.

The Institute for Snow and Avalanche ResearchExternal link (SLF) has warned of a high risk of spontaneous avalanches in several alpine areas in a band from the French-speaking canton Valais, through central Switzerland into eastern areas. Several areas have been issued with a level four avalanche risk assessment – rated as the second highest category.

The risk is greatest at heights between 2,000 and 2,400 metres where snowfall was also mixed with rain. Skiers are being warned not to venture off-piste in case they trigger an avalanche. On Sunday night and into Monday morning wind speeds reached hurricane force on some mountain tops.

Some rail links have been disrupted as a result, mainly between central Switzerland and the southeast corner of the country in canton Graubünden. Connections between the popular ski resorts of Andermatt and Disentis have only been running sporadically.

The stormy weather began to calm on Monday afternoon and is expected to improve over the next few days. SLF predicts that the risk of avalanches will decline as a result.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR