Thousands stranded amid avalanche risk in northern Italy

Some 12,000 people were stranded in the Val D'Aosta region after a road leading to the Breuil-Cervinia ski area was closed due to the danger of an avalanche amid heavy snowfall.

Thousands stranded amid avalanche risk in northern Italy
Cervinia valley, Val D'Aosta. Stock image/Depositphotos

The avalanche risk warning has been upgraded to four (strong). 

Skiers have packed resorts across Italy’s north, making the most of the ample snowfall after a sparse season last year as well as the holiday period.

Some two metres fell in the Breuil-Cervania area within 24 hours, prompting the closure of the Valtournenche Road and trapping 12,000 people.

“For two hours I shoveled snow to dig-out my car, only to arrive to discover the road closed. We’re stuck here and cannot ski anywhere,” one skier called Federico told La Stampa.

“Our holiday is ruined.”

The road was due to reopen on Friday and while the snowfall has abated, more is expected over the Epiphany holiday weekend.

There have also been avalanches in the Valsavarenche, Oyace and Rhemes ski resorts in Val D’Aosta, as well as in Cormayeur. 

Meanwhile two people were killed by an avalanche in Alto Adige's Val Venosta area on Tuesday.