8 died in Austrian avalanches in 48 hours
Austria, a popular winter sports destination reported eight deaths during the February school holidays in Vienna, with the avalanche alert level at four on a five-point scale following several days of heavy snowfall and wind.
8 people were killed in avalanches during weekend in the west of Austria (File Photo)
By India Today Web Desk: After three deaths were recorded on Saturday, a total of five people were killed in avalanches on Sunday in the west of Austria.
Austria, a popular winter sports destination, has reported eight deaths during the February school holidays in Vienna, with the avalanche alert level at four on a five-point scale following several days of heavy snowfall and wind.
Rescuers recovered the body of a 62-year-old man, who didn’t return after cross-country skiing around the summit of Hohe Aifner. Two skiers, aged 29 and 33, who were carried off-piste on Saturday morning were discovered dead in Sankt Anton am Arlberg.
The authorities, however, refused to give information on the nationality of the four victims that were recovered on Sunday.
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A 17-year-old New Zealander who was skiing off-piste, a German man in his 50s, and a 32-year-old Chinese man, all of whom were said to be skiing outside the designated routes, were discovered dead on Saturday.
Officials have warned winter sports enthusiasts to be cautious as heavy snowfall and wind have increased the avalanche danger over the last two days.
On Saturday alone, thirty avalanches were reported in Tyrol, eleven of which involved missing people, with numerous rescue operations hampered by poor visibility and bad weather conditions.
According to authorities, despite the alert level being set at four on a five-point scale, many holidaymakers have ventured off the marked slopes.
With the onset of the February school holidays in Vienna, Austria’s ski resorts have filled up after a slow start to the season due to a lack of snow at low and medium altitudes.
In recent years, avalanches have killed around 20 people every year in Austria. Authorities in Tyrol and the neighbouring region of Vorarlberg issued another avalanche warning due to wind and snowfall.