Switzerland's Zermatt ski resort reopens after heavy snow and rain

Switzerland's Zermatt ski resort reopens after heavy snow and rain

Switzerland's Zermatt ski resort reopens after heavy snow and rain

A police department official in Zermatt, which is at the foot of the Matterhorn peak and is a magnet to both backpackers and millionaires, said the helicopter journey to the village of Taesch takes around three minutes.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter, said Tuesday that about 100 people could be evacuated per hour, conditions permitting.

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Helicopter teams used controlled explosions to trigger avalanches and clear areas of snow so the Zermatt Matterhorn Railway to the town could be reopened. Some 13,000 tourists are now stranded in Zermatt.

Visitors have been stuck in the mountain resort for two days after snow blocked road and rail links.

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Trains from popular Swiss ski station Zermatt are due to reopen on Wednesday, providing relief for some 13,000 tourists trapped there by heavy snowfall, a statement said.

Imesch said Tuesday "there is nothing to panic about, everything is fine". It noted a "power breakdown all over Zermatt" and called on people to "stay at home" so as not to disrupt snow clearing crews.

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