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Western Austria cut off by avalanches
by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) Feb 16, 2012

The westernmost Austrian province of Vorarlberg was cut off from the rest of the country Thursday after avalanches forced the closure of road and rail connections, authorities said.

Part of the main motorway running east-west through Vorarlberg was hit by an avalanche Wednesday evening, prompting its closure.

A car was lightly damaged in the process and one person was brought to hospital for observation.

The Austrian Rail link to neighbouring Tirol was also shut, as well as countless roads, leaving several valleys cut off from the rest of the world, including the popular Arlberg ski resorts of Lech, Zuers and Stuben.

Further avalanches around the region did not cause any injuries however, the authorities said.

Between 60 and 70 centimetres (around two feet) of fresh snow fell, according to local emergency services, with the avalanche risk rated at level four, the second highest.

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