Sunday, November 17th 2019, 3:48 pm - Some two metres of heavy snowfall has caused thousands of outages and made travel almost impossible in Italy's South Tyrol region.
Northern Italy's bout with severe weather in recent days has stretched even into the Alps, where extreme snowfall has triggered avalanches and power outages and left some villages completely isolated.
Early on Sunday, one avalanche in the country's South Tyrol region struck the village of Martello (captured on video up above), damaging two homes. The village's mayor says the avalanche began at 2,400 metres, and ground to halt at 1,200 metres. No injuries have been reported, and some 20 people have taken shelter in a nearby gym.
The South Tyrol provincial government says some two metres of fresh snow has fallen in the mountainous region, and media in Italy and neighbouring Austria say several villages have been cut off, with dozens of state and provincial roads and "virtually all" secondary roads impassible.
Heute kurz vor 12 Uhr wurde in Dietenheim bei Bruneck eine Stromleitung beschädigt. (Urheber des Videos leider unbekannt.) https://t.co/IAJrwNO11wAndreas Baumgartner on Twitter
The heavy snow has also caused power outages due to downed trees over powerlines. Austrian broadcaster Salzburg24 says some 12,500 households were without power, and the phone system was also partially down.
Italy's La Repubblica newspaper says around 150 firefighters, volunteers and other emergency workers are out attempting to manage the situation, responding to "hundreds" of calls so far.
Avalanche danger across most of South Tyrol remains high Sunday.