Europe: Nature's Deadly Whim

"We managed to force a door in our snowbound prison. Then, using our skis as shovels, we dug our way out. Don't ask me how—it was like little blind animals digging out of a molehill."

The "molehill," in this case, was a towering wall of snow that had torn loose from Switzerland's 11,532-ft. Gelmihorn just before dawn one day last week and roared into a group of buildings near the village of Reckingen. Some 50 sleeping occupants were buried in a 40-ft. mound of snow. The canton's rescue squad rushed to the scene with snow-sounding poles and dogs, but its...

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