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Avalanches, flooding cause disruptions in Austria, Germany

BERLIN (AP) — Bad weather continued to afflict parts of Europe on Tuesday with avalanches in Austria striking buildings and roads but resulting in no injuries. An overnight avalanche in Ramsau, central Austria, slammed a hotel. All 60 visitors and staff, most of whom were from a Danish ski club, got out of the building unharmed.

Niels Leth-Soerensen, chairman of the Hobro Skiklub, praised the hotel staff in Ramsau and local rescue teams for swiftly evacuating all guests to another hotel. Leth-Soerensen who himself was part of the party, said on the club website that the 200-year-old hotel had never been hit by an avalanche before.

In a series of dramatic videos posted on Swiss news portal 20 Minuten, a group of soldiers posted to the Davos area ahead of next week's World Economic Forum narrowly escaped harm from an avalanche triggered by a controlled explosion. The soldiers can be heard yelling and seen running as masses of snow hurtle toward the base area where they are standing and filming.

Warmer, wetter weather after days of heavy snowfall has increased the risk of avalanches in parts of southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In Bavaria, snow melt flooded several roads and some basements in the town of Harburg as the Woernitz river swelled overnight.

Dozens of people have already died in avalanches and weather-related accidents in the region since the start of the year.

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