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Snow leaves villages isolated

Heavy snowfall on Monday cut off road and rail access to a number of villages in Switzerland.

The southern canton of Valais was most severely hit. In the upper part of the Rhone Valley, no trains were running on a 20-kilometre stretch between Niederwald and Oberwald on Monday.

The line normally links the town of Andermatt with Visp and Zermatt.

The road between the two villages has also been closed because of the risk of avalanche.

In the Saas Valley, the road was cut between Stalden and the popular resort of Saas-Grund.

The road over the Simplon Pass was also closed; drivers could use the train that carries passenger vehicles between Brig and the Italian border.

The Val Bedretto road leading from Valais into the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino is also blocked.

Forecasters expected more snow to fall until Tuesday evening.