Published time: 14 Jan, 2019 18:18 Edited time: 14 Jan, 2019 18:18
A hotel in southern Germany has been buried by an enormous avalanche, sparking an evacuation, as heavy snows cause deaths and disruption across Europe.
Hotel Hubertus reportedly sustained damage after the wall of snow battered the building in the village of Balderschwang, close to the Austrian border, on Monday.
The hotel was evacuated and 100 guests were taken to other buildings in the area. Nobody suffered any injuries in the incident, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.
Eine Lawine hat ein Hotel in dem abgeschnittenen Skiort #Balderschwang getroffen. Sie ist nach ersten Informationen der Polizei in der Früh abgegangen. Zahlreiche Rettungskräfte sind im Einsatz. pic.twitter.com/55zWMxBQWO— BR24 (@BR24) January 14, 2019
More than 1,100 people are now stranded in Balderschwang because several days of intense snowfall has left the roads in and out of the town at risk of being buried by an avalanche at any moment.
The snowfall drama comes after another avalanche hit a hotel in Switzerland last Thursday. Three people sustained injuries when Hotel Santis in the Schwaegalp mountain pass was hit by a mass of quickly moving snow.
Authorities in Germany, Switzerland and Austria are warning that further snow and rainfall is raising the risk of avalanches even further, and is also increasing the weight on snow-laden roofs. The Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) raised the risk of avalanches to the highest level, level 5, for a vast swathe of the Alps.
Heavy snows have now caused at least 26 deaths across Europe this year. On Sunday three German skiers were killed and a fourth remains missing, after they were hit by an avalanche in the Austrian Alps.
On Friday a snow plow operator in Germany died after his vehicle plunged into an icy river. Other fatalities have included people involved in road accidents in the dangerous driving condition, as well as people being hit by falling trees.
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