Two foreigners killed in an avalanche on Mount Nagano

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 Two foreigners died in an avalanche on Mount Nagano

According to the police, two skiers were among 13 people in three groups, all foreign nationals, who were outside the patrol areas near the mountain resort of Tsugaike in the village of Otari, when on Sunday, January 29, an avalanche came down.

Three other avalanche-affected skiers were among the 11 who made it down the mountain, police said. Nine were on foot and two others were on snowmobiles. Police said one of the skiers, who was initially reported by local rescuers to have broken his arm, actually suffered a dislocation of his right shoulder.

A foreign skier contacted the police after witnessing snow fall on the eastern slope of Mount Hakuba Norikura, a height of 2469 meters near the border with Niigata Prefecture.

Police were unable to immediately start searching on Sunday due to weather and other factors. The avalanche occurred around 2:30 pm in a remote area.

Rescuers found the missing skiers dead on the eastern slope of Mount Hakuba Norikura after an extensive search.

Japanese authorities have not released their identities, but have confirmed that they were from a group of five foreign skiers.

Local police said they believe the avalanche caused the men skied off-piste separately from the rest of the group.

An avalanche warning has been issued for the northern region of Nagano, including the village.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, in the past few days in the region there was heavy snowfall, and as of Sunday 3:00 pm, the accumulated snow had reached 103 centimeters, compared to 77 centimeters on Friday evening.

This means there is a risk of “surface avalanches” in which the layer fresh from bliss, said the representative of the agency.

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