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French ski resort struck by avalanche twice in one month

Avalanche hits French ski slope, many skiers trapped: Police

Ski run staff are all "heavily involved" in trying to locate those under the snow, said a local source.

According to the reports, rescue operations in the resort were hampered by a lack of visibility.

Weather services had warned Monday of a high avalanche risk in mountain ranges because of recent snowfall and strong winds. At level five, local authorities close the slopes, according to AFP.

Ski patrols ('Securité des Pistes') typically set off deliberate avalanches with explosives to ensure skiers are safe when they hit the pistes.

Rescuers quickly retrieved the bodies because the victims were carrying transmitters created to assist in locating them.

Only a few skiers have been "jostled" by the impact of the avalanche, the TV network added.

Last season, there were 45 incidents, which killed 21 people.

One of the worst avalanches in the Alps in the past decade took place in the summer of 2012 in the Mont-Blanc range.

Avalanches can travel at speeds of up to 400 kilometres (250 miles) per hour. The resort had accumulated 30cm of fresh snow since Saturday.

Four people died at the resort after being hit by an avalanche on February 13.