Snowed-in Austrian nuns staying put

Parts of Europe have experienced heavy snowfall Credit: Matthias Schrader/AP

Authorities in Austria have cleared the roads to reach dozens of Catholic nuns whose Alpine monastery has been cut off from the world for days because of heavy snowfall.

But the nuns are staying put at the cloister, saying that they have enough food and fuel.

The Marienparadies cloister, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of Salzburg, is home to 30 nuns and one priest.

Public broadcaster ORF quoted the prioress, Sister Laure-Marie, saying that the nuns had considered leaving but “since the sun returned and the road will be clear again soon, we are very, very grateful we’re allowed to remain with God”.

Manfred Brugger, the mayor of nearby St Veit im Pongau, said later that the road had been cleared and the nuns were staying, the Austria Press Agency reported.

“The nuns are in good spirits,” he said.

“It is important for them that they have a connection to us in the valley.”

Heavy snow has caused problems and fatalities in numerous European countries in recent weeks.

In Norway, rescuers have recovered two more bodies after four skiers were swept away in an avalanche in the northern part of the country more than two weeks ago.

Rescue workers in the Tamok valley, near the northern city of Tromsoe Credit: Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/NTB Scanpix

The bodies were flown by helicopter down to a valley, where they will be transported to the city of Tromsoe in a hearse.

The first body was recovered on Wednesday.

Police tweeted that the search for the last victim was continuing.