Ten feet of snow in two days. ‘Freak’ snowfalls cut road, rail and air links. European ski resorts in ‘lockdown’
More than 17,000 people are trapped in the Austrian town of Ischgl after the area was hammered with 10ft of snow in two days. More are said to be stranded in the resorts of Galtur, St Anton and Arlberg.
About 5.5 meters of fresh snow has closed sections of highways and isolated some towns since Thursday.
This follows the stranding of thousands in the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt less than a week ago when a major avalanche cut off all traffic, even helicopters.
Austria, southern German, France and Switzerland have seen freak snowfalls dumping up to 18ft of snow and blocking roads and railways.
The wild weather has resulted in some 76,000 households, hotels, pensions and guest houses struggling with power cuts and left thousands of visitors stranded.
Western Austria and southeastern Switzerland have been virtually paralysed by the ‘once-in-a-decade’ snowstorms.
Austrian weather service ZAMG said some places had not seen snow ‘so deep’ in more than 30 years, adding that the village of Nauders last saw a similar depth of 47in in 1951.
In Germany the 9,718ft Zugspitze summit, which had only 7.5 inches of snow six weeks ago, now has 150 inches (3.8 meters).
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