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Warning after Swiss avalanche hits skiers

Valais, including the Zermatt resort, was hit by heavy avalanches in January Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Valais, including the Zermatt resort, was hit by heavy avalanches in January

Two people have been hurt in an avalanche in Switzerland, according to local police in the Valais canton.

A spokesperson said it was initially thought eight others had been in the path of the snowfall too, but they were found to be safe shortly afterwards.

The injured pair in the Col de Fenestral area are in hospital and not seriously hurt, authorities said.

The risk level in the Swiss Alps is currently at three (considerable) on a scale of five.

Police have issued a warning on their website, saying several avalanches had been triggered in the southern region, which is towards the French border.

Rescue services are warning skiers to stay on marked slopes only.

Very heavy snow this winter has caused difficulties for many alpine resorts.

In January, the avalanche warning reached level five in a wide swathe across Switzerland, including Valais canton.

Thousands of people were stranded in Zermatt, one of the country's most popular resorts.

Skis slopes, trains and roads were closed, and some tourists opted to be airlifted out by helicopters.

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