Level 3 (the third-highest on a five-tier scale, or "considerable risk") avalanche warnings are in effect in several mountainous regions of Switzerland as of Wednesday, January 16. According to local affiliates of the European Avalanche Warning Services (EAWS), the areas affected by the warnings include the cantons of Valais, Vaud, Geneva, Graubunden, Berne, Lucerne, Nidwald, Obwald, Schwytz, Uri, Zoug, Schaffhouse, Appenzell Rhodes-Extérieures, Appenzell Rhodes-Intérieures, Thurgovie, Saint-Gall, and Glaris. Associated transportation disruptions are possible in the affected areas in the coming days.
At least one person has been killed in Switzerland following an avalanche in the Crosets sector and two others have been caught inside an avalanche in the Montana sector. A total of 26 people have died in Europe due to avalanches and snow storms during the 2018-2019 winter.
Individuals present in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports and updates from the European Avalanche Warning Services (EAWS), confirm travel reservations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation or shelter-in-place orders).
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