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Alpine snowfall: Coping with the risk of avalanche in the Alps | DW News

Alpine snowfall: Coping with the risk of avalanche in the Alps | DW News


A silence has fallen over the north side of
Altaussee. This part of the village lies in the path
of a potential avalanche that authorities say could trigger without warning. More than 100 people have had to evacuate. A few come back now and then to clear their
roofs or driveways in a contest with the snow. It has been snowing now here for nearly two
weeks. The residents tell us they haven’t seen
anything like it in over a decade. There’s a break in the weather now, the
sun is out, but even if the sun shines, it does not mean the danger of avalanches is
gone. The snow has accumulated, it’s sitting there,
and it could fall off the mountain, on to these houses at any time. Breaks in the snowfall have only been temporary. Here in lower Altaussee, the residents are
getting on with their lives – even if that means hard work. I’m used to all this snow. But it’s a bit rough this time that we’ve
had so much at once. We’re trying to clear just the top layer,
the loose stuff. Because if it rains into this, then it will
become really heavy. The village is normally packed with tourists
at this time of the year. Instead the luxury hotels like this one have
opened their doors to evacuees free of charge. Altausee has pulled together before. In 2006 they had to evacuate for a few days. And it’s that community spirit that locals
say will help them through again. Avalanche or not.

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