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article imageHeavy snowfall and strong winds causing travel chaos in Austria

By Kev Hedges     Jan 8, 2012 in Travel
Innsbruck - Many areas across Austria are under 1.2 metres (4ft) of snow since Thursday causing chaos on roads and railways in several areas of the central European nation.
In the west of the country part of a major rail link has shut down. A number of villages are totally cut off from the outside world and some tourist resorts have been left with no way in or out. The situation could get worse for stranded tourists as authorities have warned of widespread avalanches being almost a certainty.
The railway that connects Oetzal, close to Innsbruck in Tyrol, and Bludenz in the far west of the country has been closed and more than 2,000 homes have lost power. Tourists skiing in the Arlberg mountainous area have been snowed in. The region accommodates as many as 15,000 winter holidaymakers at this time of the year. Some roads have opened but many still remain closed as of Sunday afternoon.
Several army helicopters are on high alert in case avalanches occur. According to BBC Weather, more heavy snow is predicted over the next few days. Some good news reported from abc news was, railway operator OeBB said the line between Oetztal and Bludenz — part of a route that connects Vienna and Innsbruck with Austria's western tip and Switzerland — could reopen on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday 52 people were rescued after being stranded for two days at a mountain refuge in Vorarlberg, said a provincial government official.
More about Snowstorm, Rail, Road, Austria travel, Heavy snow
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