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Kate Munday

on 28 July 2016

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Transcript of Avalanches

~Pleadar Thaow
Recent Event
An avalanche struck in the high of the Italian Alps; Mount Nevoso on Saturday March 12th. Snow started collapsing at 11:15am. According to Bolzana Provinces Avalanche, on a scale of 1-5 the avalanche was a moderate 2.
Although no damage was done, six out of the 15 present were killed. Snow cascaded down the hills side burring skiers/ climbers whilst others managed to escape and witnessed.
"Some were partly covered or under snow and were able to free themselves and clearly just saw it happen"~ Financial Police Albert Castlunger.
Those that were unfortunately killed consisted of five Italian nationals and an Austrian woman.
Those of survivors reached out to rescuers, in which 4 helicopters were sent whilst rescue walked used poles and sniffer dogs to forage the snow for more possible victims.
The operation ended late that afternoon. Rafael Kostner, the lead of the rescue team stated " The helicopters are having difficulty safely reaching altitudes above 3,000m, they will fly with very little duel and all unnecessary gear will be left on the ground"
Avalanches have to power to demolish anything in its tracks down the mountain side, power supplies get cut off, road and rail ways get blocked and near by buildings get destroyed.
When people get buried by snow from an avalanche they normally don't suffer from the cold but the lack of oxygen (suffocation). The trauma of being struck by an avalanche traveling at speeds over 300km/h is what can kill skiers/people. Those who are able to dodge the avalanche, the volume of precipitation in the air can flood a persons mouth and lungs, successfully drowning them.
Avalanches kill over 150 people a year.

The power of avalanches can cause calamitous damage to houses and near by buildings, cause flooding and if debris reaches rivers, lakes etc, cause water level to rise.
Trailed afterward are the economic dilemma as substantial amounts of money is needed to repair the damaged properties.

Where do they occur?
Avalanches can occur anywhere where snowfall is built up at a particular angle.
Italy,France and Switzerland are recorded with the most avalanches and casualties related to avalanches, closely followed by the Untied States, Colorado, Alaska and Utah
Avalanches can occur at any time with any slight slope and given the right conditions.
Common factors for avalanches include; The mass of snow, the degree of the slope, terrain, steepness, weather, New snow or rain can cause agglomerate snow to displace and torrent down the side of the hill, temperature, natural disasters and snow pack (amount of snow on the ground)
Artificial triggers include Human act, sports and snow events.
What is an Avalanche?
An avalanche is a fast flow of snow that runs down the side of a mountain. There are two main types of avalanches; slab avalanches and loose snow avalanches.
Every avalanche has three main parts; the starting zone, Track and the run out zone.
Starting zone~
Is the most unstable part of the slope, unstable snow is able to fracture and begin to slide
A path created by previous avalanches, as there are no trees and a channel like clearing. Avalanches follow the same path and usually pile up at the bottom.
Run out zone~
Where the snow detritus comes to a stop and piles.
Example; After a snowfall, the windscreen on a car is covered in snow. Whilst the temperature remains, as the temperature remains tamed, the snow sticks, but as the temperature rises, the snow slowly starts to slide down the windscreen, often in slabs. This is an avalanche on a smaller scale
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