Up to 30 people were feared to have died after an Italian mountain Hotel Rigopiano was engulfed by a powerful avalanche in the earthquake-ravaged centre of the country. Italy’s Civil Protection agency confirmed the Hotel Rigopiano had been engulfed by a six-feet high wall of snow and that emergency services were struggling to get ambulances and diggers to the site.
Gondolas sit on the muddy sea bed of the Venetian lagoon in the Riva del Vin area, in Venice, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016. An uncommon low tide hampered boat circulation in many areas of the city that is built on an archipelago where canals serve the function of roads.
Participants of the 78th edition of the annual Christmas swimming “Coupe de Noel” celebrate before jumping into the Lake Geneva, in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. More than 1,800 men and women swam the 120 meters at the traditional Christmas swimming in Geneva, where the water temperature was at 44 degrees Fahrenheit.
As the mating season starts after female Grey Seals give birth, males usually compete by shows of strength against other males. Hundreds of Grey Seals use the island to give birth to their pups, usually between the months of November and January. The pups, after 3 weeks of nursing, are then left to fend for themselves. This year has seen a record number of new pups, with 320 births recorded up to December 14.
Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week in a tradition that dates back centuries, Getty reports. For the next four weeks the Christmas markets, which are usually located on the main square of the hosting town or village, will provide holiday cheer with mulled wine, sausages, Christmas ornaments and other delights.
French urban climber Alain Robert, also known as “French Spiderman”, scales the 475 feet of the Agbar tower in Barcelona, Spain.