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Sudden snowfall catches Austrians on the wrong foot

09-01-2010 09:18 BJT

VIENNA, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- For most countries in the Northern Hemisphere, August is still at the height of the summer, but in Austria it has started to snow in highland areas in the last two days of August.

Since Monday, snow has been falling in areas with an average altitude of well over 1,200 meters above sea level. In some areas, the average snowfall even reached 50 cm. The current spell of snow weather will last at least until this Wednesday, the Austrian Meteorological Department said on Tuesday.

The sudden snowfall has caused much inconvenience for many Austrians, forcing the closure of some scenic zones on the Alps and triggering numerous car accidents. In some highland areas, moving vehicles were asked to put on tire chains.

Experts also worried that some animals in the mountains might not be able to overcome the challenge of the temperature's sudden drop.

In addition, due to the unexpected snowfall, a group of six climbers were trapped in a mountain at an altitude of 3,000 meters in west Austria, the Austrian Press Agency (APA) reported on Tuesday.

They sent out a distress call early Tuesday morning, but because of bad weather, the rescue team couldn't use a helicopter and had to move in on foot. One of the climbers died partly due to the delayed rescue.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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