Ski resorts open amid avalanche warnings
Several high-altitude ski areas in Switzerland opened for the season at the weekend amid warnings of avalanches in the Alps.
Verbier, in the canton of Valais, Adermatt (Uri) and Laax (Graubünden) were among the resorts operating lifts on Saturday and Sunday following significant snowfall at higher levels.
But the country’s snow and avalanche insitute (SLF) warned on Sunday of high avalanche risk in regions around Zermatt, Saas-Fee and Simplon in the canton of Valais, Andermatt and Saint Moritz in the canton of Graubünden.
The conditions were dangerous, the institute said, because of fragile accumulations of snow at higher altitudes due to warm air arriving from the south of Switzerland.
Mild weather saw temperatures rise as high as 17.2 degrees in Mendrisio in the canton of Ticino, and even 18.7 degrees in Bad Ragaz in Saint Gallen, the ATS news agenty reported.
More snow is expected on Monday in Alpine areas above 1,800 metres, the SLF said.
Meanwhile, in Ticino, the risk of further landslides remains high as more rain is forecast in the Italian-speaking canton in the south of the country.
Precipitation from 150 to 250 millimetres was expected in different areas of the canton between Monday and Wednesday night, ATS reported.
Last Wednesday a 31-year-old woman and her three-year-old daughter died when a landslide swept their home down a hillside in a rural area west of Lugano and close to the Italian border.