Over the last few days, over 13,000 tourists have been stranded at Zermatt Resort due to extreme snowfall. The resort, located in Switzerland, was under watch for an avalanche and authorities were trying to figure out how to best evacuate everyone without any access to surrounding roads or train tracks.
According to CBS, around 300-400 people were able to fly out of the resort a few days ago, but 13,000 tourists were left at the resort without access to a road or a train because of the heavy snow. The scare came when the Alpine region experienced a particularly heavy snowfall that one French forecaster described as only seeing "once in every 30 years."
In the nearby French Pyrenees, one skier was killed and another injured during an avalanche. According to BBC, another British skier, John Bromwell, is still unaccounted for after skiing in the Tignes resort in the French Alps. Additionally, a five-story building at an Italian Alps resort was hit by an avalanche, and twenty-nine people had a "lucky escape."
The region set the avalanche risk level at the maximum amount, something that has not been done in over 10 years. Because of the surrounding avalanches, the Zermatt Resort was put under high watch. The tourists were stuck, surrounded by heavy snow.
Still, reports claim that the spirits were kept high and the mood was generally calm around the resort. Around 1,000 people chose to be airlifted out of the area on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Meanwhile, several helicopters began circling nearby areas to try and create triggered, safer avalanches. Frank Techel, an avalanche forecaster, said that there had been an "extraordinary" amount of snow in such a short span of time, which made the risk for an extreme avalanche heightened.
Finally, on Wednesday night, a train was able to run to the resort. The railway firm confirmed that the tracks had been adequately cleared of snow and were able to resume their services on Wednesday night.
Thankfully, no injuries have been reported from the tourists at the Zermatt resort. The resort is now working on getting people out of there safely.
Still, throughout the region, there have been deaths and injuries. Please be praying for those who lost their loved ones due to the extreme weather. In other recent news, a star athlete with a promising future was just diagnosed with leukemia. Please pray for him as he begins treatment.