Italy ups avalanche risk as heavy snow blankets north

ROME — Officials in northern Italy are warning of a high risk of avalanches after days of heavy, wet snow already set off one avalanche that killed a mother and her daughter on an off-piste ski run.

Officials at the weather center in Bolzano put the risk of an avalanche Thursday at 4 on a scale of 1-5 along the Cresta di Confine on Italy's border with Austria.

Cervinia ski authorities announced that the main road leading into Cervinia from Valtournenche was closed in both directions due to possible avalanches.

On Wednesday, a German woman and her 11-year-old daughter were killed while skiing in Val Venosta, northwest of Bolzano. Italy's Alpine rescue service said the two were rescued alive in critical condition despite "prohibitive" weather conditions but that they didn't make it.

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