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Two separate avalanches in French Alps kill seven

Local authorities had already warned Friday of unstable snow formations given a recent fall-off in temperatures.

Alps in the Haute-Savoie region of France
Alps in the Haute-Savoie region of France
Image: DPA/PA Images

Updated May 8th 2021, 6:16 PM

Two avalanches in the French Alpine region of Savoie left seven people dead Saturday, prefecture sources said.

Local authorities had already warned Friday of unstable snow formations given a recent fall-off in temperatures.

The first avalanche occurred late morning at Valloire, a village close to the 2,642-metre Col du Galibier mountain, killing four local people aged between 42 and 76.

They were among a five-strong group of walkers one of whom was found safe and well by rescuers after two helicopters were scrambled.

The second avalanche claimed three lives early afternoon near the 3,779-metre Mont Pourri, near Les Arcs ski resort some 150 kilometres northeast of the first one, prefecture sources said having issued a warning of a “particularly high” risk after recent days saw heavy snowfalls followed by falling temperatures.

“With weather like today’s it is tempting to head for the mountains but that is extremely risky,” Valloire mayor Jean-Pierre Rougeaux told AFP.

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The latest deaths come after two avalanches Monday killed five people elsewhere in the French Alps.

© AFP 2021

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