BASIL – In the Swiss, French and Austrian Alps a snowstorm has caused towns to be covered in up to six feet of snow, shutting them off completely from the outside world.
Mountain passes leading into the Alps are inaccessible. People living in the small Alps towns are no longer accessible to the outside. In parts of the Swiss Alps, the storm dropped over 6 feet of snow.
Numerous flights have been canceled. Train traffic in Switzerland and Italy came to a grinding halt, leaving winter tourists stranded. Vehicles are not permitted to drive up to the towns, even if they are equipped with special snow tires and chains, out of fear for avalanches.
All cable lifts going up to the Alps have been halted after one derailed in Austria while hauling 21 tourists. Luckily, no one was injured.
In the towns of Borghetto di Vara and Cassana in Italy, dozens of residents had to be evacuated because of possible avalanche danger.
Authorities said that it will take several days to clear roads leading to the Alps. In the meantime, avid skiers are advised to stay put and wait until they are given green light to go to the ski resorts.
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