Two expert skiers died and several others were injured after tonnes of snow and ice slid from the mountainous regions in northern and central Italy.
Both skiers were killed after an avalanche raced down mountains near the popular ski resort of Campo Felice, in Abruzzo. The deadly disaster occurred between the municipalities of Rocca di Cambio and Lucoli (L’Aquila), not far from the ski facilities of Campo Felice, after a night of heavy snowfall, according to local reports.
It is understood the ski slopes of Campo Felice have not been affected by the avalanche but they are constantly being monitored.
Another avalanche on Sunday left a 48-year-old man fighting for his life after snow and ice battered the mountaineer and his friend in Sondrio, near the border with Switzerland. The man was rescued by the Alpine Rescue Team, but his condition is very serious, according to local reports.
Meanwhile, an avalanche struck a group of skiers on Mount Lussari in Camporosso on Sunday at 10 am local time, causing serious injuries to one person who was taken by helicopter to the hospital. Volunteers from the mountain rescue force in Cave del Predil and emergency responders dug through ice and snow to search for people, and it is understood the remaining members of the group were unharmed.
The Region Autonoma Valle d’Aosta in a statement added: “The avalanche danger level is 3-considerable from Valgrisenche to the upper Valtournenche and 2-moderate on the rest of the region. The main avalanche problems are wind drifted snow and fresh snow. New and recent soft slabs in the north-west of the region above 2500-2800m, much smaller and less moving to the east. Triggering is already possible at the entrance of the basins and on steep slopes. Above 2500 m possible surface slab avalanches especially from the very steep slopes.”
The Italian mountain ranges bordering France remain on high alert over fresh snow which has increased the risk of avalanches in the region.