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Normality resumes Zermatt ski resort shakes off avalanche chaos

 Snow on rooftops and fir trees on Wednesday morning in Zermatt

Up to two metres of snow but also rain showers hit the region around the Zermatt over the past few days 

(Keystone)

Train and road routes to Zermatt have been restored, allowing trapped tourists to leave the Swiss ski resort. The risk of avalanches in the region has also been considerably reduced since the beginning of the week.

Some 13,000 guests were affected by avalanches that had severely disrupted the area since Monday.

The Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn railway company resumed its service between Visp and Zermatt at midday on Friday, after the track was successfully cleared of snow. 

Road and rail access to the popular ski and winter resort of Zermatt was cut off on Monday as the region faced extreme avalanche risks. 

The train line between Zermatt and Täsch was eventually reopened on Wednesday with the line being restored between Täsch and Visp by Friday evening.

In Zermatt, ski pistes and winter hiking trails have reopened, as well as the well-known Gornergrat Bahn train which transports skiers and other passengers higher up the mountain.

+ More on the situation in Zermatt

Earlier in the week, helicopters were used to enable people to urgently leave and access the resort, news agencies reported.

Several valleys in the region of southwestern Switzerland were cut off following heavy snowfall and rain over the weekend. Roads to the nearby resort of Saas-Fee were also closed.

The avalanche risk in the region has been downgraded from level 5 on Monday – the highest risk level – to level 2 (moderate) on Saturdayexternal link. The favourable weather forecast for the weekend means to lower avalanche risk is likely to remain.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ug

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