Avalanches kill 8 in Austria

Vienna: Eight people, including a Chinese national, were killed in separate avalanches in western Austria since Friday, Austrian police have said.

The 32-year-old Chinese skier was buried and killed in an avalanche in Oetztal in the state of Tyrol, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a report by Austrian news agency APA.

The other fatal avalanches took place over the weekend in other areas in Tyrol and the neighbouring state of Vorarlberg, both popular Alpine destinations for winter sports enthusiasts.

APA reported on Sunday that heavy winds and snowfall have increased the avalanche risk in the area over the past few days, with local authorities raising the avalanche danger level to four in the five-tier warning system and urging winter sports enthusiasts to exercise caution.

In Tyrol, 30 avalanches, 11 of which involved missing persons, were reported on Saturday alone, and search and rescue efforts have been hampered by poor weather conditions, according to APA.

APA said according to weather forecasts, the avalanche danger in Tyrol and Vorarlberg would ease over the weekend.


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