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Snow in the Alps: danger of avalanches and flooding

Large parts of Bavaria and Austria are still struggling with heavy snowfall. The avalanche danger remains high and could even increase. Further north, rivers burst from their banks.

The weather in the Alps remains tense. Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen, Traunstein, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Miesbach and Berchtesgadener Land remain the disaster in five Upper Bavarian provinces. Many roads are closed, avalanches and heavy snow loads on roofs are dangerous. For the Bavarian Alps, the second highest avalanche warning level is four.

On Monday morning an avalanche hit a hotel in the winter sports resort of Balderschwang. No one was injured, the police said. The avalanche with a width of 300 meters pushed the windows of the hotel and the snow came in. The approximately 100 hotel guests were accommodated elsewhere.

The armed forces were on the spot, but initially could not start cleaning up. Experts first had to make clear whether more snowboards could be solved. Access to the municipality of Balderschwang is only released for emergency vehicles since Sunday, due to the avalanche danger. Around 1300 people are stuck in the winter sports resort.

In Lower Bavaria, on the other hand, the situation relaxed: the access roads to the winter sports resort Sankt Englmar are open again. The district office released the access roads at 5 a.m. after several forest machines had cleared the fallen trees from the road and shook the snow from the trees. The lifts in the ski area, the cross-country ski runs and hiking trails will remain closed until further notice.

Seehofer sends 230 federal police

During a visit to Berchtesgaden, federal minister of internal affairs Horst Seehofer promised 230 federal police officers to help the helpers in the snow-covered areas. "This is a signal that you simply come together in such a situation," he said. The district administrator of the Berchtesgadener Land asked the federal police for help on Saturday.

Seehofer thanked the thousands of helpers for their efforts. People have been doing superhuman things for days, he said. According to Seehofer, more than 200 federal police are currently involved in clearing roofs and streets in the Berchtesgaden district alone. The initially limited use up to three days will be extended if necessary.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also confirmed her appreciation for the helpers. Merkel expresses its appreciation for everyone who is constantly on hand to help their fellow citizens and to guarantee transport and delivery as much as possible, said government spokesman Steffen Seibert. All local troops have done a great job. In view of the forces of nature, we see & # 39; how we stand together & # 39 ;, Seibert said.

More than 1,000 helpers from the German armed forces, the fire brigade, the Red Cross and the Federal Agency for Technical Assistance are clearing snowmasses from collapsing roofs, among other things.

Rivers flood the banks

Meanwhile, melt water and rainfall in the lower parts of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are causing flooding. Several rivers and streams burst their banks at night. Especially in the middle and north of Bavaria were partially flooded fields and meadows. For the Oberfranken district of Kulmbach, the authorities warned of flooding in built-up areas.

The police also reacted to flooding in Central Franken. "The flood is slow," said a spokesperson for the police. In Lower Bavaria, according to a police spokesman, the water levels have risen slightly. Roads have not yet been flooded.

Thousands of Austrians have snowed in

The situation in Austria is also getting worse. More than 180 streets are closed, places such as Lech and Zürs are no longer accessible. The village Stuben am Arlberg was also cut off from the outside world because of the avalanche danger. The Fernpass, an important connection between Germany and Austria, can not be used at the moment.

In Salzburg alone, 17,000 people have been cut off from the outside world. As the authorities reported, the road to Obertauern was closed on Sunday evening due to avalanche danger. Also in Styria more than 1000 people have to persevere in snowy villages.

Many Tyrolean avalanches have started in Tyrol. As the avalanche warning service of the Austrian state has announced, the highest avalanche warning level has therefore been extended to other regions of the country. "There was more snow on the Karwendel than expected," the experts said in their management report.

The Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics assumes that it can be up to five degrees warm in Tyrol and Vorarlberg. This would increase the avalanche danger, especially in medium and high altitudes. In parts of Austria the highest avalanche warning level is due to the new snowfall.

Tension in Switzerland

The situation is also tense in Switzerland: during the weekend about a meter of fresh snow fell in the Swiss Alps. A partly stormy wind with speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour caused deviations. As a result, many roads and railways were blocked in the mountainous areas.

In the Surselva region of Graubünden, an avalanche follows the community of Disentis, known for its Benedictine monastery, from the outside world. In the Canton of Uri, an avalanche spilled four vehicles on a street. No one was injured.

The avalanche danger has been raised to the highest level by the Institute of Snow and Avalanche Research in various areas. Until Monday evening another 60 to 100 centimeters of snow is expected from the eastern Bernese Oberland to the Alpstein, the north of Oberwallis and the Silvretta.

Snow until at least Tuesday

According to ORF, it will snow almost continuously until Tuesday afternoon in the northern and central Alps. Between Vorarlberg and Lower Austria, the weather experts expect 50 to 150 centimeters of fresh snow. This can increase the avalanche danger along with storms and snow showers.

The German weather service also expects new snow for the Bavarian Alps. Partially it could fall to a meter of snow, so the prognosis of meteorologists. They predict slush for other parts of Bavaria. The tax on trees and roofs could increase further.

The topics of the day were reported on this subject at 1.15 pm on January 13, 2019 and at 9 am on January 14, 2019 in the Tagesschau.


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