Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Parts of Austria, southern Germany face heaviest snowfall of last two decades

A train got stuck in the snow on the Brocken mountain in the Harz region of Germany Image A train got stuck in the snow in the Harz region of Germany
Jeannette Daniel | 13 January, 2019, 18:45

"Max Meyer was about to enter Year 11, and his life has been tragically cut short".

Austrian media reports say the 16-year-old boy's family got into rough terrain skiing on Thursday and sent a call for help in St Anton, in the Tyrolean Alps.

Sydney schoolboy Max Meyer was on a holiday with his family in Austria when tragedy struck. The family, a German man and Australian woman and their children, live in Australia. "I have also advised our school community that if they need support, they can reach out to our counsellors and to senior staff and me for help".

Heavy snowfall continued on January 10 in parts of Austria and southern Germany with several places cut off and the bad weather is expected to persist.

The 16-year-old was buried by the avalanche and although rescuers retrieved Max's body some 20 minutes later he couldn't be revived.

The heavy weather has caused at least nine deaths in Austria.

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Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for further comment.

Two separate avalanches killed two German skiers in Austria's Vorarlberg mountains.

The Austrian minister responsible for tourism, Elisabeth Koestinger, said in most skiing areas, "there is no reason for concern at present, if people keep to the rules and don't leave the secured slopes", the ABC reported.

On Norway's Arctic Svalbard islands, more than 100 people were evacuated as a precaution because of a storm and the risk of avalanches. BBC Weather forecaster Alina Jenkins said heavy snow hit Germany, Austria, Turkey and the Balkans on Thursday (10 January). The Svalbard archipelago is 500 miles north of Norway's mainland.

The teenager was a student at Sydney's International Grammar School which has offered support to his family and fellow students.

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