A large avalanche buried a street near a popular Austrian ski resort beneath up to 4 meters (13 feet) of snow Tuesday, but authorities said a search turned up no victims.

Officials said the avalanche struck around 10:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) Tuesday and piled snow over a 100-meter (300-foot) stretch of roadway just outside the town of Soelden in the western Alpine province of Tyrol.

Rescue workers poked through the mass of heavy snow, but police later issued a statement saying no people or vehicles were caught in the avalanche.

Soelden Mayor Ernst Schoepf said 3-4 meters (10-13 feet) of snow covered parts of the Venterstrasse - a key local roadway leading in and out of the area. The roadway remained closed to traffic early Tuesday afternoon.

Soelden hosts top World Cup ski competitions and draws hundreds of thousands of recreational skiers and snowboarders.

Authorities said there was heavy rainfall across the region in the hours preceding the avalanche, and suggested the poor weather might have triggered the slide.

Austria's avalanche monitoring agency issued a warning Tuesday that the risk of snow slides above 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) was "substantial," and raised the alert level to three on a five-point scale.

Dozens of avalanches occur in Austria each year - many in spring, when thawing snow and ice packs make slopes unstable - but they rarely strike streets or populated areas.

Although several dozen avalanche deaths are recorded each year, the federal mountain rescue service says most fatalities occur off-piste when skiers, snowboarders and hikers lured by the thrill of deep powder venture away from marked trails.