Winter of Terror
The Winter of Terror was the three-month period during the winter of 1950-1951 when a previously unrecorded number of avalanches took place in the Alps. The series of 649 avalanches killed over 265 people and caused large amounts of damage to residential and other human-made structures.
Damage and casualties
The Valais canton of Switzerland suffered 92 human deaths, approximately 500 cattle deaths, and destruction of 900 human-made structures. As in Austria, economically important forests were also damaged during the period.
This period is thought to be a result of atypical weather conditions in the Alps: high precipitation due to the meeting of an Atlantic warm front with a polar cold front resulted in 3-4.5 metres of snow being deposited in a two-to-three-day period. More than 600 buildings were destroyed and over 40,000 people were buried under snow.
- Williams, Florence (4 December 2005). "Look Out Below". The New York Times.
- Rapp, Irene (12 December 2010). "180.000 Daten für mehr Sicherheit". TT.com (in German). Innsbruck, Austria: New Media Online GmbH. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
- Tufty, B. (1978) 1001 Questions Answered about Earthquakes, Floods, Avalanches and Other Natural Disasters, Courier Dover, p133, ISBN 0-486-23646-3
- "Force of Nature - Death in the Alps". BBC Corp. Retrieved 2008-03-27.