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German village evacuated amid avalanche risk

BERLIN (AP) — Officials have ordered residents of a village in southern Germany to leave their homes immediately due to "acute" avalanche risk. Authorities said Wednesday that villagers of Raiten, near the Austrian border, should take important documents and medicines with them, and inform neighbors who may be unaware of the warning.

Heavy snowfall over the past weeks has greatly heightened the risk of avalanches in parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Dozens of people have died in avalanches and weather-related accidents. The German meteorological service DWD said Wednesday that the amount of snowfall in the Alps recently was unusual, but not exceptional. The agency said heavy precipitation might become more frequent due to climate change, though rising temperatures mean it could come down as rain rather than snow.

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