Piedmont, Italy - Extreme avalanche situation
Extreme avalanche situation in the Alps

The extreme avalanche situation in East Tyrol was made clear by an avalanche on Saturday evening in Prägraten am Großvenediger. Four houses and one vehicle were damaged. People were not injured. There were other snow avalanches with individual damaged buildings.

The Tyrolean avalanche warning service “imposed” avalanche warning level 5, i.e. very high risk, over East Tyrol. Spontaneous avalanches are to be expected from high catchment areas in the course of the day. In isolated cases they could also be extremely large. But at the same time, the head of the avalanche warning service, Rudi Mair, calmed down a bit. Due to the relatively warm temperatures and sometimes a lot of rain, wet snow avalanches in particular are to be expected, not powder avalanches. The latter would cause greater damage.

The emergency services also had to fight on all fronts due to the enormous rainfall in the state. Governor Günther Platter (ÖVP) assured East Tyrol financial support. District chief Olga Reisner appealed to the population to stay at home.

Lots of fresh snow in Carinthia

In Carinthia, enormous amounts of fresh snow in the Lesach Valley, the Gail Valley and the Upper Möll Valley. This resulted in roadblocks and an extreme avalanche situation. The milder temperatures in lower elevations caused some slopes to slide. Mudslides also blocked the road. The SPÖ regional councilor and disaster control officer Daniel Fellner appealed to the population in all areas affected by the weather to stay in their homes.

All emergency vehicles from the road maintenance depots were in constant use. Fellner asked the population in Upper Carinthia to adhere to the orders of the emergency services: “Please stay in your houses and do not climb the snow-covered roofs to shovel them free”.

After avalanches, some roads were closed, while snow chains were compulsory on others. In the course of the afternoon and towards evening, the snow in Lower Carinthia increasingly turned into rain showers. For the night it was expected that the precipitation would subside, but there should be some stormy wind in the Karawanken valleys.

New highs

According to the first data evaluation, the 24-hour fresh snow amounts at some ZAMG weather stations in the affected areas of the two federal states were in the record range. A “record” was even exceeded. In Umhausen in the Ötztal (1,030 meters above sea level) it snowed around 80 centimeters from Saturday to Sunday, the record for 24 hours there was 45 centimeters from October 2013. Measurements have been made here since 1956.

On the Brenner (1,400 meters) it snowed around 90 centimeters from Saturday to Sunday (record: 100 centimeters, measured in March 1975). In St. Jakob / Defereggen (East Tyrol, 1,283 meters) there was a snow cover of 110 centimeters on Sunday morning, in Döllach in the Upper Mölltal (Carinthia, 1,071 meters) of 97 centimeters and in Sillian (East Tyrol, 1,081 meters) of 89 centimeters.

According to ZAMG, it snowed around 100 to 150 centimeters from Friday to Sunday morning on the mountains of Upper Carinthia, East Tyrol and in the area of ​​the main Tyrolean Alpine ridge. Sometimes a little more. There will be another 50 to 100 centimeters of fresh snow by Monday, according to the forecast. After that, the situation should ease. The foehn storm still reached more than 100 km / h in the mountains on Sunday morning.

(apa, Wiener Zeitung Online)

Obergurgl, Tirol, Austria - extreme avalanche situation
Obergurgl, Tirol, Austria

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