Avalanches are a normal phenomenon
during the alpine winter. Inhabitants normally know them by name. Their
size and danger is normally well known and buildings are typically kept
at safe distance form them. However, abnormal situations do happen form
time to time and human behaviour is not necessarily always wise.
So, deadly avalanches are historically known across the Alps both in
old an recent times.
A good collection of available historical documents about this is the “New
documents unknown or unpublished on avalanches; by Carlo F. Capello;
document also quotes this avalanche that in 1832 killed 11 people. The
fact was so sad that it was also published in the UK on the book “The
waldenses or, vaudois of Piedmont; by William Beattie; 1837”
avalanche does not happen every year because the mountain slope is
relatively shadowed all the day long. However, when snow conditions are
adequate it is normally massive. In December 2008 it filled the river
and climbed a bit on the opposite side of the valley. In April 2009 it
Climbing at summer up where the avalanche descends, it
is very visible that big trees are missing or systematically destroyed.
The presence of relatively big trees destroyed by the avalanche makes
it clear that it does not happen so frequently. In places where the
avalanche happens frequently only small plants can be seen.
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Maiera avalance reached the road climbing from the opposite side
of the valley.
The Germanasca river covered by the avalanche.
The Germanasca river exits from the avalanche.