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.
An avalanche in Afghanistan wreaked havoc on the Abdullah Khil village of Panjshir province, northeast of Kabul. An Afghan provincial official said the death toll from the massive avalanche in a mountainous valley near the capital Kabul rose to almost 200 as bulldozers and other machinery began clearing roads and rescue teams were able to reach remote villages that have been cut off for almost a week. The official said as rescue workers dig through the snow, they are uncovering more bodies, including women and children.
In April, an avalanche killed 16 Nepali Sherpa guides who were fixing ropes and ferrying supplies for their foreign clients to climb the 29,035-foot peak. The accident – the deadliest in the history of Mount Everest – triggered a dispute between sherpa guides who wanted a climbing ban in honor of their colleagues and the Nepali government that refused to close the mountain. The sherpas staged a boycott, forcing hundreds of foreign climbers to call off their bids to climb Everest.