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High avalanche risk in Alps amid heavy snow; 1 dead

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BERLIN (AP) — Authorities warned Sunday of a high risk of avalanches on the northern side of the Alps, after heavy snowfall in recent days created dangerous conditions in parts of southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

A 20-year-old skier died in an avalanche Saturday on Mount Teisen, near the Austrian border, German police said. The woman’s five companions were unharmed.

Authorities have closed some roads and train lines due to avalanche risks, while airports in the region have seen delays as they struggled to clear the large amount of fresh snow and de-ice planes.

Hundreds of passengers were stuck for hours on a train early Sunday after a snow-laden tree crashed onto the tracks near Kitzbuehel, Austria. Some 14,000 households were temporarily left without electricity in northern Austria because of damages to power lines.

Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported that some 600 residents and tourists were still stuck in the Austrian village of Soelktal following a road closure. It said an Austrian army helicopter managed to drop some supplies there on Sunday.

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Officials in the nearby Salzburg region described the situation as “very precarious,” noting that large avalanches could be triggered spontaneously.

The German weather service DWD forecast a further 40 centimeters (almost 16 inches) of snowfall in some areas by Monday.

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European Avalanche Warning Services: http://www.avalanches.org/eaws/en/main.php

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