Snow storms batter northern Italy

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The Val Masino area was hit by an avalanche. Photo: Paola Magni/Flickr
11:07 CET+01:00
Families were forced from their homes over the Christmas period as storms swept across Italy, causing avalanches and power cuts.

Heavy snow in northern Italy left one person dead after an avalanche hit the resort town of Les Arnauds, close to the French border.

READ MORE: Snowboarder dies in Italian Alps avalanche

Meanwhile, a boy from Trento was saved on Thursday when his father pulled him out from under an avalanche, La Stampa reported.

Heavy snow left people stranded in their cars, while hundreds of tourists were unable to reach their hotel in the Alps’ Puster Valley after roads were closed.

Train travel between Italy and the Swiss Canton of Valais was also paralyzed on Thursday night as heavy snow felled trees over the railway tracks.

Towns across northern Italy and north-west Piedmont suffered blackouts, La Stampa said.

Winds reaching 100 kilometres an hour and heavy rain battered the Liguria region. Nineteen families were evacuated from their homes after an avalanche hit the Genova suburb of Pontedecimo, while further landslides were recorded in the northern Lombardy region.

The mountainous area of Val Masino, in Lombardy, was part-isolated after an avalanche covered a road, the newspaper said.

Bad weather also struck southern Italy, with sea storms on Thursday stopping ferries and cutting off islands in the Bay of Naples from the mainland.

Ferries linking Sicily and Sardinia to the mainland were also cancelled, as were connections to smaller southern islands.

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The storms come a month after a cyclone struck Sardinia, causing flash floods and killing 16 people.

SEE ALSO: Day of mourning for Sardinia flood victims

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