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8 French people caught in Hokkaido avalanche, 1 unconscious

30.01.2020 11719
Eight French people were caught in an avalanche Thursday near a ski area in Hokkaido, with one reported unconscious, local authorities said, Kyodo reports.
The avalanche hit them around 3:25 p.m. while they were skiing off piste in the Tomamu resort area in the village of Shimukappu. The seven others were unhurt.
The identity of the unconscious man was not immediately known, according to the authorities.
The avalanche covered about 50 meters and was 3 to 4 meters in width, local police said.
One of the eight who managed to emerge from the avalanche descended the mountain and made an emergency call, according to the authorities.
Snowfall around the area was 6 centimeters during the day through 1 p.m., but could have been much more at a higher altitude and could have easily developed into a surface-layer avalanche, according to the local meteorological observatory.
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