AVALANCHE WARNING AND HAZARD ZONING IN AUSTRIA -
SOME NEW ASPECTS

Peter Holler
Institute for Avalanche Research
Rennweg 1 - Hofburg
A-6020 Innsbruck
Phone: ...43/512/573933 Fax: ...43/512/572820

EXTENDED ABSTRACT

NEW REGULATIONS CONCERNING AVALANCHE WARNING

1. The new European Risk Scale
Instead of different hazard classes in each European country it was developed a standardized scale with 5 degrees. The risk scale was introduced in 1993 and is now valid all over Europe. Details were already published in Avalanche News No. 41 and Avalanche Review No.6 (Vol.12).

2. New regulations concerning avalanche commissions in Tyrol
The so-called avalanche commissions have to be organized by each community itself, they are responsible for avalanche safety on highways and skiing areas, but their tasks were not specified exactly until 1992. As a result of an avalanche accident ( one person was killed on an opened ski-piste), new regulations for the foundation of avalanche commissions were elaborated. The provisions of the law (LAND TIROL, 1991), passed by the Tyrolean Government, do regulate the education and remuneration as well as the insurance cover for the commission members.

HAZARD ZONING - ACTUAL PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS FOR THE FUTURE

1. Effects of catastrophic avalanches
The enactment of avalanche zoning in Austria was in 1975 (REPUBLIK OSTERREICH,1975,1976).

The Red Zone includes areas which are endangered by avalanches in such a manner that the permanent utilisation of human settlements and traffic is not possible; avalanche pressure of more than 25 kN/m2 must be expected.

The Yellow Zone includes areas which are affected ~y avalanches, too, but maximum avalanche pressure is less than 25 kN/m2.

In 1988 a great avalanche event took place near to St. Anton; 7 people were killed, several buildings were damaged in the Yellow Zone, especially the houses "Strolz" and "Zangerle", as well as the house "Tscholl"(Nr.480), which was destroyed co~pletely (Fig.1). The calculated avalanche pressure was about 16 kN/m2.

During a study tour of avalanche experts (AGERER, 1989) the hazard map of St. Anton was discussed intensively. Nearly most participants of the group agreed, that the buildings in the Yellow Zone were not designed according to the special building regulations of the hazard map.




2. Effects of endangered forests
Negative effects on hazard zoning must also be expected as a result of non-cultivated mountain forests.

In the so-called Putzenwald (western Tyrol/St. Anton) new avalanches released because of lacking cultivation and increasing damages by deer (MAYER,1984; GASPERL, 1989). The consequences for the settlement in the valley (new hazard zones) are shown in Fig.2. In order to consider this new situation FIEBIGER (1989) proposed to elaborate a new hazard map with special regard to the negative dynamics of stand development.




3. Effects of tourism
Due to limited building land in some parts of Northern Tyrol we can observe an increasing interest to reduce Red Zones in order to break new ground for settlements (especially to establish new hotels and apartments).

To stop this dangerous development rigorous land use planning is required in future.

LITERATURE

AGERER, H.(1989): Tagesbericht Wolfsgrubenlawine. Wildbach- und Lawinen verbau Jhg.53, H.112, S.187-195.

FIEBIGER, G. (1989): Die Problematik des Putzenwaldes. Wildbach- und Lawinenverbau Jhg.53, H.112, S.171-186.

GASPERL, W.(1989): Tagesbericht Putzenwald. Wildbach- und Lawinenverbau. Jhg.53, H.112, S.197-205.

LAND TIROL (1991): Gesetz Uber die Lawinenkommissionen in den Gemeinden, LGB1. 104/91.

MAYER, H.(1984): Waldverwustende Wildschaden in Tirol, Band II, St.Jakob am Arlberg. Institut fur Waldbau BOKU Wien 1984.

REPUBLIK OSTERREICH (1975): Forstgesetz 1975, BGB1.440/1975 i.d.g.F.

REPUBLIK OSTERREICH (1976): Verordnung uber die Gefahrenzonenplane, BGB1.436/1976.

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