Avalanches claim 37 in Austria

A higher-than-average number of people were killed by avalanches in the Austrian Alps this winter.Official figures presented yesterday (Tues) show that 37 skiers, snowboarders, hikers and ski tourers died as a result in the country’s mountains during the winter season, which is currently coming to an end.This is a strong increase compared to the average 26 people per year dying in avalanches in Austria.Meanwhile the German Alpine Association announced that 147 people were killed by avalanches in the whole continent this winter.Walter Würtl of the Austrian Alpine Association criticised holidaymakers over their gear. “It was striking how badly equipped many avalanche victims were this winter,” he said.The Austrian Alpine Association official explained there was relatively little snowfall in the Austrian Alps this winter.”Many avalanches were triggered by the bad shape the snow layers were in because of the little amount of fallen snow and rapidly changing temperatures,” he explained.