At least ten dead in avalanches in mountainous areas of Austria and Switzerland

Blick vom OstgipfeView from the summit of the Liskamm in the Austrian Alps. – WOLFGANG RAUSC / UNITED ARCHIVES / CONTACTOPHOTO

At least ten people have died victims of avalanches in mountain areas of Austria and Switzerland over the past two days, according to local authorities, who have reported dozens of landslides over the weekend and urged sportsmen and women to exercise extreme caution.

In the case of Switzerland, two bodies were located Saturday, of two skiers — a 56-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man — who were off-piste in the canton of Graubuenden. A third companion was unhurt, reports public television.

The Austrian authorities also reported on Saturday the deaths of three people of Chinese, German and New Zealand origin, the latter being 17 years old, all victims of avalanches off the slopes.

This Sunday, they found the body of a 62-year-old skier missing in Kaunerberg and two other bodies in Saint Anton am Arlberg. They also confirmed the death of a 59-year-old man buried while operating a snowplow in the Tyrol region.

On Saturday alone, authorities reported more than 30 avalanches in the Tyrol, according to ORF. Authorities set the alert level at four, out of a scale of five, and called on skiers to avoid steep or potentially dangerous terrain.