At least ten people have died in avalanches in Austria, Switzerland and Italy in recent days

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The death toll from avalanches in Austria, Switzerland and Italy has risen to ten. In East Tyrol in Austria, the driver of a snow plow was found dead under masses of snow in the morning, police confirmed. The vehicle was caught in an avalanche and swept away. All the other victims are skiers who were off the secured slopes. According to the police, a lifeless person was discovered in an avalanche in the Kauner Valley in Tirol. The victim is likely a missing 62-year-old hiker.

Disappeared found dead in St. Anton

The two skiers wanted in the municipality of St. Anton am Arlberg since yesterday could only be found dead. The 29-year-old ski guide and his 33-year-old Austrian guest were skiing when they were hit by an avalanche. Due to the high risk of avalanches, the search had to be interrupted on Saturday. They were only found today.

Three winter sports enthusiasts had died in Austria since Friday. A 32-year-old Chinese skier died in an avalanche in the Ötztal. A 17-year-old New Zealander was buried under masses of snow near Kaltenbach in the Zillertal in Tyrol. A 55-year-old German missing since Friday evening was found dead on Saturday in Kleinwalsertal.

Wind gusts up to 120 kilometers per hour

In South Tyrol, Italy, a German ski tourer died in an avalanche. The 31-year-old was on the Limojoch with another woman on Saturday morning, as confirmed by the South Tyrol mountain rescue service, according to the dpa news agency. After the masses of snow fell at an altitude of about 2,200 meters, another group of German hikers, who noticed the incident, rushed to help. One of the two women was released unharmed.

40 mountain rescue teams equipped with snowmobiles, tracked vehicles and a rescue helicopter were deployed to the scene of the accident. It was about 80 kilometers east of Bozen, near the border with the Veneto region. According to the mountain rescue service, the helicopter had to turn back due to gusts of wind of up to 120 kilometers per hour. The woman who died in an accident was found 2.5 meters deep.

Other victims in Switzerland

Avalanches also caused casualties in Switzerland. As the canton of Graubünden police announced, two skiers came off the slopes near the town of Disentis on Saturday morning and were hit by an avalanche. A third member of the group is unharmed. The two dead are a 56-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man. The rescue operation had to be temporarily interrupted due to poor visibility and bad weather conditions.

Over the past few days, well over a meter of fresh snow had fallen regionally in the Alps. Dozens of avalanches have been counted in Tyrol alone. The second highest avalanche warning level of the European five-part avalanche danger scale applied in large parts of Tyrol and neighboring countries. Ski tours outside secure terrain must therefore be limited to moderately steep terrain, according to the recommendations in force. Inexperienced skiers should stay on open slopes and routes.

Catherine Mills Avatar