Yesterday, avalanche dangers in parts of Valais, including Zermatt and Saas Fee reached 5, the highest level, before shifting back to 4, according to the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 9, 2018
Two houses in nearby St. Nicolas were evacuated last night due to avalanche risk and road access into Gondo and the Saas valley was halted. In addition, part of the village of Eyholz was evacuated for fear of a mud slide.
According to RTS, some supplies were helicoptered in to Zermatt today and it remains cut off. Some who urgently needed to leave were flown out.
Access in and out of the town is expected to be restored on Wednesday.
Speaking to RTS, president of the municipality, Romy Biner-Hauser, who grew up in the town said that such events sometimes occurred several times a year. She said it has been 10 or 15 years since so much snow has fallen in such a short period of time.
The heavy snow was brought by the foehn, a warm weather system that blows from the south. While it brought heavy snow to high-altitude regions it brought heat to others. Altdorf in the canton of Uri recorded heat of 17.5 degrees and Einsiedeln in Schwyz 14 degress, the highest level for this time of the year since 1968.
Update: access to Zermatt was reestablished on Wednesday 10 January.