7,000 lose power after heavy snow

Highest avalanche alert at Pyrenees resorts as more than a metre falls in some areas

Highest avalanche alert at Pyrenees resorts as more than a metre falls in some areas

SEVEN thousand homes in the Pyrenees are without power and several ski resorts have been forced to close after more than a metre of snow fell in some areas, triggering the highest level of avalanche alert.

Four departments in the region remain on orange alert from Météo France: the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège.

Pompiers are organising convoys to help drivers who were trapped at ski stations, including Artouste, La Pierre Saint-Martin and Gourette. The avalanche risk at many resorts is five out of five.

LA photo du jour #ApocalypseSnowNPY@la_psm pic.twitter.com/CvhkDX8bq8— La Pierre St Martin (@la_psm) February 1, 2015

Electricity supplier ERDF says 5,000 homes in the Hautes-Pyrénées and 2,000 in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques have lost power. About 200 engineers are working around the clock in difficult conditions to restore electricity.

The avalanche risk is high in the Alps as well. A 17-year-old French girl was one of 10 off-piste skiers killed in avalanches in the Swiss Alps in recent days.

Notre camion #itele sous 2m de neige. Station de Gourette #pyreneesatlantiques pic.twitter.com/0R7XwTTU46— DJAMEL MAZI (@djamel_mazi) February 1, 2015
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