Heavy snow in Germany, Austria causes chaos for travelers

Carol singers in traditional costumes walk through the snow in Eglingen, southern Germany, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (Thomas Warnack/dpa via AP) –The Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Heavy snow caused travel chaos in parts of Germany and Austria as authorities closed roads and train routes because of avalanche danger and airports reported weather-related cancelations Saturday.

Munich Airport, Germany’s second biggest, said 120 flights were canceled and others were delayed while workers cleared runways of snow and removed ice from planes.

Austrian railway company OeBB said several train connections were suspended due to the avalanche risk. Authorities closed several roads including around Bischofshofen, which is hosting the annual Four Hills ski jump tournament this weekend, following more than 50 centimeters (20 inches) of fresh snow overnight.

Salzburg regional authorities warned against off-trail skiing, adding that “many large, several very large avalanches are likely in the afternoon and overnight” that could affect roads and rail lines.

Advertisement

Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported that the small village of St. Johann was evacuated because authorities feared strong winds could trigger a large avalanche. Meanwhile, some 600 residents and tourists were stuck in the village of Soelktal following a road closure, the station reported.

Innsbruck airport said “current weather conditions have caused major restrictions in air traffic” and urged travelers to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

Significant snowfall is forecast for southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland in coming days.

Separately, authorities in Greece reported travel disruptions due to snowfall in the north of the country.