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Avalanche at Swiss ski resort of Zermatt kills three

An avalanche at the renowned Swiss ski resort of Zermatt on Monday killed three people and injured another, local police said.

Social media circulated footage showing a formidable surge of snow engulfing an off-piste area in the Riffelberg sector of Zermatt, a luxury Alpine retreat.

Despite challenging weather conditions, a major rescue operation was quickly launched, but was suspended, according to police, who confirmed the death toll on X, formerly Twitter, without providing any information about the nationalities of the victims.

Intense snowfall coupled with powerful winds prompted authorities to caution against a significant avalanche hazard in the southern Swiss Alps.

“Very large, and in some cases extremely large, spontaneous avalanches are to be expected,” the Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) said.

According to the SLF, prior to Monday’s incident, Switzerland had already witnessed 14 fatalities in 12 avalanches and accidents during this season, with the majority of victims being cross-country skiers.

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Famagusta Gazette