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Snowstruck Europe braces for another major storm

Snowstruck Europe braces for another major storm

dpa
Munich
Snowstruck parts of Europe got a slight breather onFriday, but meteorologists warned that more snow was coming at the weekend while safety officials cautioned that the metres of snow that had already fallen posed dangers.
Across the Alps, safety agencies lowered the avalanche threat level, but did not remove it completely. Crews in Austria began sending out flights to reconnoitre the areas most heavily hit.
But affected areas were far from trouble-free. Multiple flights were cancelled out of Munich and Frankfurt. A spokesperson for Frankfurt Airport said about a tenth of flights - about 120 - were scrubbed because of slick conditions. Munich saw about 90 flights cancelled.
The driver of a snowplough was killed in the southern state of Bavaria when his vehicle overturned on a bridge and fell into the water below, according to police.
For a second night in a row, German motorists had to spend the night in their vehicles because of poor road conditions. This time, the affected drivers were on the A8 highway near Chiemsee, in the south.
Volunteers provided refreshments and blankets throughout the night before the roads cleared up enough for driving. “In some cases, we had to wake up the truck drivers,” said police. “Then it took a little time until they got their trucks up and running again.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her regret at the death of a 9-year-old boy who was killed by a falling tree near Munich on Thursday.
In Austria, where at least seven people have died, citizens of Tyrol’s capital Innsbruck were told to stay indoors and shutter their windows on Friday to avoid being hit by an avalanche, the city authority said. The precautionary measure affects around 300 people living on the slope of the mountain range that towers over the Austrian city. In other parts of the country, avalanche experts lowered the hazard level slightly on Friday, but the risk remained considerable across the Alps.
A 40-year-old skier was buried in an avalanche and killed in northern
Slovakia on Wednesday, the mountain rescue service HZS reported. In Switzerland, tourists were transported down from the Schwaegalp
Pass on Friday after an avalanche had swept into their mountain hotel the previous day, police said.

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