Winter storms sweep across southern Germany and Austria | News | DW


At least eight people have died since the weekend in Austria and a seven-year-old child was killed near Munich on Thursday when a tree fell under the weight of the snow.

The heaviest snowfalls in twenty years have covered southern Germany and
Austria
and parts of the Czech Republic over the last week. Transport on road and rail has been affected, mainly by the effect of snow-laden trees.

Overnight on Wednesday, hundreds of drivers spent a night in their vehicles in southern Germany as a snow storm blocked their passage. Police said lorries slid on the motorway, blocking traffic over a 35-kilometre stretch.

Train travel across the south and east of Germany was affected by the snow, mainly due to fallen trees.

Meters more snow are expected to fall on already covered houses

Meters more snow are expected to fall on already covered houses

Up in the Alps near the border with Austria at Berchtesgaden, two meters of snow has already fallen and the resort was declared a catastrophe area on Thursday. Further up the mountain at Buchenhoehe, the German military organized special delivieries of food to the cut-off resort.

Berchtesgaden Mayor Franz Rasp said it would cost an extra €25,000 extra euros ($28,798) to clear away all the snow. 

In Austria, rescuers saved nine tourists stuck in the snow at the Zell am See resort. Despite warnings, the group had ventured off-piste. Road access into the resorts of Lech and Obertauern was closed due to the risk of avalanches.

Crossing a snow-covered bridge in Austria

Crossing a snow-covered bridge in Austria

One man died when he was hit by his own car parked on a slope as he tried to clear snow from his garage in Feldkirch.

Power lines were damaged by snow and 4,500 homes were without electricity on Thursday.

Austria expects a further half meter of snow to fall before the weekend.

jm/rc (dpa, AP)

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