This is a factfile of some of the most deadly incidents in history:
An avalanche on Mount Huascaran, Peru, buried the town of Yungay in snow and ice in May 1970. The incident killed approximately 18,000 people.
Over 200 people died in the village of Blons, western Austria, in January 1954 following two avalanches. Many of the rescue works who were digging out victims of the first avalanche were killed by the second.
December 13 1916 became known as White Friday after thousands of soldiers from Austria-Hungary and Italy were killed by a number of avalanches in the Dolomites.
Mont Blanc, France:
Eight climbers were killed after being swept down Mont Blanc du Tacul in August 2008. The dead included victims from Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Pamir Mountains on Lenin's Peak, Kyrgyzstan:
An avalanche, reportedly triggered by a mild earthquake, killed 40 climbers in the remote Pamir mountains in the Soviet Union near the Chinese border in July 1990. The victims were from the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Israel, Switzerland and Spain.
The Swiss town of Plurs was buried by an avalanche in September 1618. The catastrophe claimed the lives of over 2,000 people.
Eleven mountaineers on the world's second highest mountain, K2, were killed in August 2008 when an avalanche swept away their fixed ropes after they had scaled the summit.
North Ossetia, Russia
At least 125 people were killed as the Kolka glacier collapsed on the Russian village of Nijni Karmadon in September 2010.
Salang Pass, Afghanistan
Some 165 people died when hundreds of motorists were trapped in their vehicles on a mountain pass connecting the Afghan capital Kabul with the north of the country.
Over three miles of road were covered in snow and ice by over 20 avalanches in February 2010.