APTOPIX Switzerland Avalanche Risk

Zermatt is home to about 5,500 inhabitants and has the capacity to accommodate 13,400 tourists spread across hotels and rental apartments

Roads, trains and cable cars have been closed over fears of avalanches in the region, while skiing has also been banned in many areas.

"There are possible power breakdowns all over Zermatt", it said on Twitter, adding that the area was now inaccessible.

Helicopters are transporting people to and from the mountain, though no evacuation order has been announced.

"The persons in charge are working with high pressure", a statement said on Zermatt's official website as tourists and locals bedded in for another night in the resort.

Zermatt's tourism office said trains to the nearby village of Taesch resumed at 5:15 pm (1615 GMT) despite efforts to get the service up and running in the morning.

Helicopter teams used controlled explosions to trigger avalanches and clear risky areas of snow so the train line to the town could be safely reopened.

Skiing out is not an option, because the avalanche risk is set at the rarely used maximum on a five-point scale - the highest it has been for nearly 10 years. "It's a bit romantic", resort spokesperson Janine Imesch told AFP, adding that "there is no panic". The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable.

Road and rail access to the famed ski and winter resort of Zermatt in southern Switzerland was cut off on Tuesday as the region was facing the maximum level of avalanche risk, authorities said.

Luckily, there is no risk of heavy snowfall at the Matterhorn in Disneyland for the foreseeable future.

Some tourists have been airlifted via helicopter from the area.

The town of Zermatt at the base of the Matterhorn on a more peaceful evening.

And in the French Alps, rescuers were looking for a British skier who went missing on Sunday in the resort of Tignes.

On Monday, an avalanche reportedly hit a five-story building in the Italian resort of Sestrieres.

Authorities said conditions were expected to improve Wednesday.

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