Avalanche warnings issued in southern Switzerland

A scene from St Moritz, one of many Swiss towns blanketed in snow over the weekend Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

Heavy snowfall throughout the weekend has crippled road and rail traffic and resulted in avalanche warnings in Switzerland.

This content was published on December 6, 2020 - 16:00
Keystone-SDA, SRF, sm

According to SRF Meteo – the Swiss public broadcaster’s weather service – there is an elevated avalanche threat throughout northern Ticino, including Centovalli, and in the southern valleys of Graubünden and the Upper Engadine. In these regions, it’s a Level 4 on the five-part danger scale.

From the southern Valais to the eastern Bernese Oberland to Alpstein and in the remaining areas of Graubünden, it’s danger Level 3, reported SRF Meteo on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, measurements of fresh snow ranged from 40-60cm, bringing the total depth to over a meter in some places.

Trouble on the rails

The Matterhorn Gotthard Railway temporarily halted its service between Andermatt and Sedrun. The Rhätische Bahn railways (RhB) reported several interruptions on Sunday, including problems between Scuol-Tarasp and S-chanf plus Pontresina and Landquart, as well as on the route from Landquart to St Moritz.

Due to the danger of avalanches, the RhB closed the Bernina line between Pontresina and Poschiavo on Saturday evening. As the road was also closed, no replacement buses could be used.

The heavy precipitation has also resulted in a number of other road closures as well as accidents. In Ticino, a rockfall and a landslide blocked some major roadways.

The snow – which started falling on Friday morning in some areas – is expected to keep coming until Monday morning.

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