Unbelievable photos of a tunnel of snow towering above people and vehicles on a road that was buried by a massive avalanche show the current danger levels in the French Alps after “once-in-generation” snowfalls this week, reports The Local.
The snowslide blocked the road between Bessans and the village of Bonneval-sur-Arc in the Savoie district on Tuesday and left the 250 residents of Bonneval cut off after covering the road with between five and seven meters of snow.
“It’s been 20 years since we’ve seen an avalanche like that in this area,” said expert Alain Duclos, the president of the organization Data Avalanche. “Since the year 2000, avalanches have been triggered in a preventative way, which means we haven’t seen an avalanche of this exceptional magnitude.”
But given the amount of snow that has fallen in recent days, Duclos said such a huge slide had been expected. Warnings in the area had been at extreme level after the kind of snowfall that happens only once every 30 thirty years.
The snowslide cut access to Bonneval and authorities had to put in place an emergency operation to clear the road. Duclos was able to get some impressive pictures of the operation.
By Thursday the threat level had receded but at higher altitude, the risk remains high. Above 6,890ft (2,100m) the risk level is still rated 4 out of 5.