Published on : Tuesday, January 23, 2018
The train lines and roads to Zermatt in Switzerland and St Anton in Austria have been blocked and authorities asked people to remain in their houses and hotels for safety reasons.
While some tourists were airlifted out of Zermatt by helicopter, flights were stopped following deterioration in weather conditions.
The official resort website advised against travel to the area, “due to avalanche risk, the road and train line Zermatt-Tasch are closed. Therefore Zermatt is not accessible. Due to current capacity we kindly ask guests not to travel to Täsch/Randa. The guests are asked to look for accommodation in bigger cities like Brig/Visp, Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva or Lausanne and to wait there.”
The authorities in Zermatt have been attempting to clear the snow using helicopters: At St Anton in Austria, the police has restricted the travel in and out of the town to cars with snow chains, while firefighter escorts transported some people to a nearby valley.
A spokesperson for the official tourism authority in St Anton said that at the moment the street to St Anton am Arlberg are closed, and provided a link to avalanche warnings with details of road closures.
On its website, the Foreign Office updated its advice to visitors to Zermatt. “The rail and road access to the Zermatt area has been temporarily suspended again due to heavy snowfall and avalanche risk.”
There’s a risk of flooding, landslides and avalanches in some parts of the country. Before travelling, check the local weather forecast for latest information, including any possible dangerous weather conditions.
This is the second time visitors to Zermatt have been snowed in this month. On 8 and 9 January, more than 13,000 visitors were stranded after heavy snowfall and were airlifted.