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Four Pyrénéen departments on avalanche alert

Four departments on the French-Spanish border are still on avalanche alert today after Météo France extended its “orange” warning in the area.

The Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64), the Hautes-Pyrénées (65), the Haute-Garonne (31) and the Ariège (09) are all on “orange” alert for the dangerous weather phenomenon. “Orange” is the second-most serious alert level, just down from the highest “red”.

The alert - which is set to last from 6h54 today (Friday December 29) until at least 6h00 tomorrow morning - continues from the previous 24 hours, which also saw an orange avalanche alert in place in the region.

The warning was put in place after heavy snowfall in the Pyrénées, with 50-60cm of fresh snow having fallen at altitudes of more than 1,500 metres since Tuesday. Strong winds and even more snow higher up - up to 60-80cm of fresh powder - have also made conditions more dangerous.

The avalanches expected are likely to be what Météo France calls “moderate”, but in some cases many threaten certain sections of road across the mountains.

Anyone in the area is advised to check the state of roads before travelling, and to pay close attention to any local instructions in mountain areas or in ski stations.

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