Alps heavy snow claimed the lives of at least 16 people


Alps heavy snow claimed the lives of at least 16 people.

Heavy snowfall continued in both countries Thursday as several places were cut off and the bad weather expected to last at least another day.

The bad weather has also been causing problems in Norway, Switzerland and Romania.

Austrian police said that a 16-year-old boy from Australia was killed in an avalanche in St. Anton am Arlberg as he was skiing with his family on Wednesday.

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In neighboring Slovakia, the mountain rescue service said a 37-year-old Slovak man was killed by an avalanche in the Mala Fatra mountains.

Several railway lines in the Alps were closed because of the snow, while trucks and cars were stuck for hours on a highway in southwestern Germany and schools closed in parts of Bavaria.

Roads into several places were closed, among them Galtuer in western Austria, where a massive avalanche in 1999 killed 31 people.

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Austrian news agency APA reports there is still a “large to very high” avalanche danger in Salzburg, Upper Austria and Upper Styria.

In the Czech Republic, around 9,000 households were without electricity on Thursday after heavy snow in regions bordering Germany and Austria.

On Norway’s Arctic Svalbard islands, more than 100 people were evacuated as a precaution because of a storm and the risk of avalanches.

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The Svalbard archipelago is 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of Norway’s mainland.

Norwegian news agency NTB said 29 dwellings at the foot of the Sukkertoppen mountain were evacuated, and a school, kindergartens, a sports facility and public library closed. In the north of mainland Norway, authorities warned of a risk of avalanches.


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