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Bansko introduces online avalanche alert

Date: 08.03.2006

Bulgaria's top ski resort of Bansko has introduced an online alert to prevent tourists from wandering off in avalanche-frequented areas.

Color-coded, depending on the danger, Bansko's risky zones are publicized in hopes of avoiding tragedies, 24 hours daily newspaper reports. Currently there are five dangerous zones - "Todorka" and "Chashata", where the threat is serious and "Palashitsa", the gullies to "Vihren" chalet, and the gullies to "Damianitsa" where there is a moderate danger of avalanches. Current situation can be monitored at www.banskoski.com.

In the meantime it became clear that a British businessman is planning to sponsor a school in Bansko. Nigel Hall, who planned on investing in hotels and apartments also agreed to help with the woodwork of the local boarding-school that houses many orphaned children.

The cases of tourists or extreme-sensations seekers swept by avalanches have increased with the warming of the weather, and mountain rescuers and resorts are trying their best to inform everyone. Despite signs and warnings, however, some people prefer to take the untrodden paths.

A couple of weeks ago three young Bulgarians were swept by an avalanche in Vitosha mountain near Sofia, and one of them lost his life. On Saturday six Slovak tourists also found themselves amid snowy inferno, but fortunately survived it with only mild traumas.

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