Two years ago, Switzerland and Austria were struck by the worst avalanches in over 50 years. Some 3000 avalanches occurred in the Swiss Alps alone, 1000 of which caused damage to villages, power lines, forests and agricultural land. Villages were cut off and tourists were stranded, causing havoc to the country's lucrative tourist industry. A total of 12 people were killed when one massive avalanche destroyed several chalets and overcame two unsuspecting motorists on a road near the village of Evolène. The avalanche came to a halt some 4 km from its starting point, burying the road under 10 m of snow and ice. Across the border in Austria, an avalanche killed 38 residents of the town of Galtür – by far the worst accident of the winter.