Savoie: Lifting the Red Alert for Avalanches

Local News
Skiers walk past a banner warning of the risk of avalanches in a ski resort in Savoie,

Following an “exceptional” snow, Savoie had been placed on red alert Avalanche, Monday, January 8. Vigilance was lifted, but remain cautious.

The red alert for avalanches , which was the Savoie since Monday was lifted on Tuesday morning but the department is maintained in amber alert.

Two other Alpine departments are also affected by avalanches: the Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-Maritimes, France Weather said in its 6am bulletin. They are faced with a situation of “exceptional snow.” 

A snowfall that occurs every 30 years!

An snowfall of such intensity occurs on average that “once every 30 years,” according to Meteo-France. Avalanche departures will occur spontaneously, with the “aggravating factor” a “good snow” that “will promote runoff,” explained Monday forecasting service.

In this context, the prefecture of Savoie recommended that residents and users “extreme caution.” prevention and security measures have been taken, including General containment and preventive evacuation in isolated areas of Haute Maurienne and Haute Tarentaise where firefighters have been pre-positioned. All footpaths are prohibited.

Up to two metres of snow

Also hit by heavy snowfall, the Maritime Alps (Mercantour) and the Hautes-Alpes (massive Queyras and Tabor) were held Tuesday in orange avalanche awareness.

Massive Ubaye, the Haut-Var and Haut-Verdon were also placed Monday evening to level 4 of 5 avalanche risk (Europe-wide), announced the Prefecture of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.

In the Alps, snow accumulations can reach up to 2 metres, said Meteo France.

This phenomenon, called “return to East”, is due to the humidity of the Po Valley which condenses in contact with the Alps and precipitates as snow.

Two people remain missing

In 24 hours now, near the French-Italian border, accumulations of 50 to 90 cm were recorded in Haute Maurienne, 60 to 80 cm in the Haute Tarentaise, 65 to 90 cm in the Queyras and 40 to 50 cm in Tabor .

On the face of storms, the orange alert was lifted on Bouches-du-Rhône and Var.

In the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var, a virulent storm line was set up in Monday night on a Draguignan Fréjus-axis, with hail and heavy rain.

Moreover, the search continued in the day to find two people still missing after the storm Eleanor , who made six dead and at least 200 million euros in damages last week .

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