Snow strands thousands of tourists in Switzerland

Workers remove snow beside the Zermatt train station after heavy snowfall and avalanches trapped more than 13,000 tourists at Zermatt, 9 JanuaryImage copyright

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Snow at Zermatt train station

Thousands of tourists are stranded in Swiss ski resorts after heavy snow in the Alps cut off towns and villages.

Skiing is not possible as slopes are closed because of the danger of avalanches.

More than a metre (39in) of snow fell in parts on Monday alone. On Tuesday, a metre more is forecast.

The avalanche risk is set at the rarely used maximum on a five-point scale. This is the highest it has been for almost ten years.

Many schools have been closed and some houses evacuated.

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Snow has blocked road and rail links to many ski resorts

In the resort of Zermatt, home to the famous Matterhorn mountain, more than 13,000 tourists cannot leave.

Despite the fact that they are stranded, the tourists are reported to be in good spirits.

Some have described the atmosphere as “romantic”, BBC correspondent Imogen Foulkes reports.

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