There is a significant risk of avalanches occurring in glacial areas such as the Alps. They can cause widespread disruption, damage and sometimes loss of life.
An avalanche is a sudden downhill movement of snow. It is a significant hazard to people living in, or visiting, glacial areas. A slab avalanche [slab avalanche: A type of avalanche where there is a fast movement of less powdery heavy snow. ] is the most dangerous form of movement. It can be caused by:
An avalanche is able to obstruct anything in its path. Roads and railways can be blocked. Power supplies can be cut off.
A powerful avalanche can even destroy buildings.
People can also be killed.
90 per cent of people who die in avalanches trigger them themselves.
People usually die from a lack of oxygen when buried in snow, rather than from getting too cold.
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