Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Thousands of Tourists Get Stranded at Ski Resort

Villages across Switzerland, France and Italy have all been affected.

Authorities evacuated 20 people from Visp around 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Zermatt after a snowy mudslide rammed into part of the town, Swiss broadcaster SRG reported.

Earlier: Swiss authorities near the famed Matterhorn peak have closed ski slopes, hiking trails, cable cars, roads and train services into Zermatt amid a heightened risk of avalanches, stranding 13,000 tourists in the town.

The rail line from the town of Zermatt is also due to partially reopen later Wednesday.

Local officials said no lives are in danger and the situation is calm, with cafes open and many streets clear. "It's a bit romantic", resort spokesperson Janine Imesch said.

An official with Air Zermatt told AFP that more than 600 people had been airlifted out by helicopter on Tuesday - at a cost of 200 Swiss francs ($204/170 euros) per passenger - with several hundred more flown out on Wednesday.

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Thousands of tourists came to the Zermatt ski resort in Switzerland for a winter adventure, and that's exactly what they got.

French emergency workers said the heavy snowfall and extreme avalanche risk, which is at a maximum of five, had prevented extensive searches on the ground for Mr Bromell.

The Foreign Office has tweeted the following warning: "Heavy snowstorm in the canton of Valais has caused the temporary suspension of the main road and rail links to and from the Zermatt area".

More than a meter (39 inches) of snow fell in parts on Monday alone with another meter falling yesterday. Fortunately, the 29 people staying there were able to escape without injury by fleeing through the garage.

And in the French Alps, rescuers were looking for a British skier who went missing on Sunday in the resort of Tignes.

The Zermatt tourism office said Wednesday: "After being cut off for nearly two days, Zermatt can now be accessed by train again".

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