Avalanches are among the world’s most dangerous natural disasters. Fortunately avalanches usually occur in remote mountain areas, where they don’t threat human life or properties. However, avalanches can strike without warning, taking hikers and skiers by surprise.
An avalanche is a natural disaster that can cause big damage. It is caused by various factors, such as, the amount of snow or the weather. Even though avalanches can be fatal there are some ways that can help to prevent them.
Avalanches can happen wherever there is snow lying on the ground with sufficient angle. They are caused by an over-burden of material typically snowpack that is massive and unstable for the slope. Avalanches have 3 ingredients: snow, a sloped surface and a trigger. Avalanches usually start on mountain slopes that are at 25 to 60 degrees angle to the ground. The structure of the snowpack is a strong predictor of avalanche danger. For an avalanche to occur, it is necessary that a snowpack has a weak layer. Weather also influences the evolution of snowpack formation, the most important factors are heating by the sun, vertical temperature ingredients in standing snow, snowfall amounts, and snow types.
Avalanches can sweep trains off their tracks, crush buildings, uproot trees and bury people. Most deadly avalanches start when victims trigger them. Some avalanches have covered entire houses with people still inside them. Avalanches strike without warning. This is precisely what happened more than a century ago when a small group of mountain climbers tried to scale the huge alpine peak Mont Blanc. They were unexpectedly overtaken by an avalanche that left only a few survivors. Three members of the party were buried in the snow. When almost half a century later the bodies were found, they were so perfectly conserved, that a surviving member of the original party, by then an old man, was able to recognize them.
Sport enthusiasts particularly enjoy steep slopes...