Snow chaos in the Alps | DW Documentary

Austria is snowed under — to the delight of skiers and the horror of homeowners. Even older Austrians are amazed by the amount of snow that’s fallen in a matter of days.

Soldiers, firefighters and volunteers are helping in the most affected areas. Austria is used to dealing with large amounts of snow, but this year the country has received far more than usual. Meter-high piles cover the rooftops and rising temperatures are leading to rising fears that roofs could collapse. In the village of Altaussee in Styria, residents whose homes lay below the Loser Mountain were evacuated due to the risk of an avalanche. Meanwhile, in Saalfelden in the state of Salzburg, the Austrian army’s helicopter unit has been taking to the air to pinpoint unstable snowpack that could trigger avalanches. On January 12, a group of skiers was killed in an avalanche near the Alpine resort of Lech, after using a trail that was closed due to unsafe conditions. Still, at ski resorts like Saalbach-Hinterglemm, the mood is upbeat. Here the snow is good for business and a source of pleasure for holidaymakers. A report by Mariel Müller and Marc Erath

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