Watch: Southern Germany declares emergency after heavy snowfall

South Germany declares state of emergency after heavy snowfall Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Germany Jan 08, 2019, 09.12 AM (IST)

Officials in southern Germany declared a state of emergency on Monday as a winter storm deposited more than half a meter of snow in parts of southern Bavaria.

The area suffered traffic chaos during the weekend and the regional rail service suffered delays and cancellations.

On Monday, roads were blocked and schools were closed. A spokesperson for the district of Miesbach said residents had been warned about avalanches and snow-related dangers, for instance falling tree branches.

"It's very different, of course, from North to South. Here in the Bavarian Alps, it has snowed a lot the past few days. For this reason, we have very high snow, and the risk of avalanches is very big, spokesman for Bavaria's mountrain rescue team said, adding,"Bavarian avalanche warning institute has issued a level 4 warning, the second highest, which also poses a high risk of avalanches in unsecured skiing areas." 

The town of Warngau, on the northern edge of the Alps, was covered in almost a meter of snow and its residents were working hard to remove it from the streets.

Some were delighted to have a white layer blanketing their town, but others found it rather inconvenient.

In some areas, the avalanche warning has been raised to level 4, implying that large avalanches can occur due to the weight of the snow without human intervention.

A 20-year-old woman had died after she was buried by an avalanche on the Teisenberg mountain range in Upper Bavaria, near the Austrian border. Meteorologists said they expected the region, already hit by days of heavy snow, to see a further 10 to 40 centimetres (four to 16 inches) of the white stuff by Monday.