Heaviest snow in decades: Evacuations underway as 13000 tourists trapped in Alps

The snow has blocked all roads and the train leading to the resort in the southern Swiss canton of Valais which was also hit by some power outages head of the station Janine Imesch said

Heaviest snow in decades: Evacuations underway as 13000 tourists trapped in Alps

While getting snowed in at a ski resort may not sound so bad, authorities banned skiing and hiking because of a severe threat of avalanches, reports NBC News.

Only tourists who requested the air bridge were being ferried out, the official said, insisting that it was not an official evacuation.

A level 5 avalanche risk - the highest risk level - has been declared in parts of canton Valais, where Zermatt is located, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) said.

Zermatt tourism office said teams were working "as a matter of urgency" to reopen roads.

Helicopter teams used controlled explosions to trigger avalanches and clear unsafe areas of snow so the train line to the town could be safely reopened.

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.

Luckily, there is no risk of heavy snowfall at the Matterhorn in Disneyland for the foreseeable future. Dominic Steinmann, Keystone, via AP Viktor Perren, in a helicopter of Air Zermatt throws an explosive material out of the window to artificially blow up avalanches at the skiing resort "Sunnegga" which is part of "Matterhorn Glacier Paradise" in Zermatt, Switzerland, on January 10 2018. "Only the ski areas are closed".

The iconic Matterhorn, as seen from outside Zermatt.

Ms Imesch added: "There is nothing to panic about, everything is fine".

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

Meanwhile in the Italian Alpine resort of Sestriere, where more than six feet of snow fell in 48 hours, a five-storey apartment building was hit by an avalanche on Monday night.

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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