Friday 19 January, 2018

13,000 tourists stuck in Matterhorn town amid avalanche risk

This file photo shows the famous Matterhorn mountain near Zermatt, Switzerland. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP, File)

This file photo shows the famous Matterhorn mountain near Zermatt, Switzerland. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP, File)

Swiss authorities near the famed Matterhorn peak have closed ski slopes, hiking trails, cable cars, roads and train service into the nearby town of Zermatt amid a heightened risk of avalanches, stranding some 13,000 tourists in the town.

Janine Imesch of the Zermatt tourism office says power has been restored in the town and no people were at risk because authorities shuttered access to the nearby ski slopes and hiking trails a day earlier. Imesch says Tuesday "there is nothing to panic about, everything is fine."

The office's website earlier indicated that arrivals and departures from the town were not possible. It noted a "power breakdown all over Zermatt" and called on people to "stay at home" so as not to disrupt snow clearing crews.