With the coming of finer weather today (Friday), thousands of stranded holidaymakers hurriedly left the disaster-stricken alpine resort Val D'Isere, where 42 people died in an avalanche earlier this week.
Men clearing snow from disaster hostel; various shots of tourists evacuating area with luggage, etc.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: With the coming of finer weather today (Friday), thousands of stranded holidaymakers hurriedly left the disaster-stricken alpine resort Val D'Isere, where 42 people died in an avalanche earlier this week.
Shortly after the news broke that all was clear, a steady stream of coaches and hundreds of private cars moved cautiously down the tortuous mountain road from Val D'Isere, isolated for days in raging blizzard conditions.
The road had been opened briefly yesterday for the first time since Tuesday's avalanche, but became blocked again by another fall during last night. Then the weather cleared, and the road was once more opened, this time long enough for large-scale evacuations to take place.
This morning the sun was shining, but temperatures stayed well below freezing in the stricken resort. By breakfast time most of the long queues of vehicles waiting to leave had cleared, and workmen were able to dig out other vehicles that had been buried under the snow for days.
Hotels normally packed at this time of the year with holidaymakers have rapidly emptied in the Val D'Isere area as new guests failed to arrive.