On Sunday, an avalanche occurred near Mont Blanc in southeastern France, resulting in the deaths of four people, while two others remain missing. The prefecture for the Haute-Savoie department confirmed that two mountain guides were among the deceased, who were caught in the snow tumbling down the Armancette glacier.
Emergency responders, including a helicopter and mountain rescue dogs, were deployed to the scene to assist in the search operation for the missing individuals. However, the prefecture warned that a further avalanche could not be ruled out, and the operation was suspended in the evening, but will resume at 7:00 am on Monday.
The avalanche covered an area of 1,000 meters by 500 meters, and while one person suffered minor injuries, eight others were swept up but unharmed. The cause of the avalanche remains unknown, as no avalanche warning had been issued for the region by weather authority Meteo France. However, a combination of warmth and wind could have contributed to the disaster, according to the prefecture.
President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences on Twitter, saying, “We’re thinking of (the victims) as well as of their families.” He also confirmed that emergency services have been mobilized to find those still trapped in the snow.
This incident is not the first of its kind to occur on the Armancette glacier. Two brothers lost their lives in an avalanche on the same glacier in 2014, despite being experienced climbers in their 20s. Contamines-Montjoie mayor Francois Barbier commented on the tragedy, saying, “I think it’s the most deadly avalanche this season.”
In conclusion, the avalanche near Mont Blanc has resulted in a tragic loss of life, with four people dead and two still missing. The search operation for the missing individuals will resume on Monday, with emergency responders and officials warning of the possibility of another avalanche. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families during this difficult time.